|North Adams Campground, Lake Sets Open House|
|By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff|
07:08PM / Friday, June 29, 2012
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Windsor Lake complex will hold an open house on Thursday, July 5, from 4 to 8 so area residents can see some of the work that's been done.
||An open house has been scheduled for Thursday, July 5, from 4 to 8 at Windsor Lake and Historic Valley Campground. Above the new sign was installed two weeks ago.
"People are telling us how nice it looks and there are lots of improvements," Susan Chilson, one of the managers for the lake and Historic Valley Campground, said Friday. "The grounds are cleaned and manuicured, they're being brought back to where they might have been many, many years ago."
Chilson said some of the highlights at the campground so far are the refurbished restrooms, a new security gate and some 40 campsites hooked into the sewer as part of an ongoing project.
On the lake side, the old concession stand has been fixed up as more of a cafe with plans now to repurpose the building rather than tear it down.
What won't be ready for the open house is a new playground; that should be in by the end of July, it was reported at the Windsor Lake Recreation Commision meeting earlier this week.
"The playground has been authorized and [Commissioner William St. Pierre] is looking into the bidding process," said Chairman George Forgea at Tuesday's meeting. "The mayor would like it installed by the end of July ... It's going to be tight but were going to try."
The focus on the playground means the volleyball court will likely be put off for another year. Commission member Nancy Bullett, who has been championing the court, said she'd rather see it done right next year than try to rush it this year.
The City Council is being invited for a walk through of the complex in August, after the playground is completed.
The commission has been working for more than two years to improve the city's prime recreational spot and make it more attractive to residents and out-of-town campers. The playground, restorations of existing buildings, and general cleanup have been part of the plan to ensure modern amenities at the aging park.
"Last year, it was a freeforall. Now we're hearing a lot of good positives," said Forgea. "We're in a place where we're not putting out fires all the time so now we can do projects one at a time."
The largest project so far has been the extension of sewer lines into the 100-site campground south of the public beach.
Public Services Commissioner Timothy Lescarbeau told the commission on Tuesday that both Phases 1 and 2 have been completed. Another 35 sites are targeted for completion after the campground closes in the fall. If there was time, he said workers would try to extend the lines farther.
The lines marked in orange show the next phase of the sewer project at the campground.
"There will be new water lines, too, the whole ball of wax," he said, adding that the department was currently working on getting budget numbers for upgrading the electrical service. "It's long overdue. When we opened [this year], we had electrical problems the first weeks."
Among the issues on tap for next year is a revamping of the parking fees, which have 10 different figures based on residency, age, vehicle and season.
"It's too complicated," said Forgea. "We have 10 different rates for parking and it's crazy and we're asking too much from the park police and managers to keep it straight."
Also discussed were:
• The enforcement of the citywide no-smoking rule effective Jan. 1, 2013. Campers will be able to smoke in their campsites, but there will be no smoking anywhere else on the property. The commission will contact the health inspector about signage and enforcement.
• The removal in the fall of the mobile home that been a year-round residence for former campground managers. The commission is considering building a rec hall and laundry area there.
• A new brochure with a separate insert with fee schedules for more economical updating.
• The installation of two park benches from Develop North Adams.
• The posts and chains around the parking lot that were removed after a youngster was hurt when one broke; a new divider will have to be installed to keep cars off the lawns.
• The lake will be treated for invasive species in the fall.
• A significant donation to the lake entrance project from longtime Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman George A. Fairs. Donations are still being accepted.