Horse Campground Proposed for Central Illinois

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October 5, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

Plans to develop a new horse campground at Lake Lou Yaeger in central Illinois will be on the agenda for Tuesday's Litchfield City Council meeting after the council passed a motion to develop plans during the finance meeting at Corwin Hall on Oct. 1.

According to Lake Superintendent Jim Cadwell, the lake has some of the nicest horse trails in central Illinois, but the city does not offer camping facilities that the modern riders require. The new campground would include water and electrical hook-ups and eventually a shower house, according to The Journal-News, Hillsboro, Ill.

Cadwell also mentioned that several riders have expressed interest in volunteering to help with the project. Electricians, plumbers and contractors have said they would help with the construction at a reduced cost to the city. Litchfield must first develop plans in order to obtain a permit from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The motion stated that the cost to have Crawford, Murphy and Tilly Engineering develop a site survey and plans for the horse campground would not exceed $18,000. Alderman Pat Timmons and Robert Ostendorf both expressed concern over the number, saying it sounded excessive.

Cadwell explained that is simply the budgeted amount and any extra would be used for supplies and materials for the project. He also mentioned that he had spoken with Ted LaBelle of CM&T and the cost to develop the plans would be much lower. Cadwell also said that he will be pursuing some grants

City attorney Brad Hantla cautioned Cadwell about the use of volunteer labor, saying that the workers had to be supervised and guidelines had to be followed.

Alderman Bill Dees asked if the number of users for the horse campground would equal the amount of money spent. Mayor Tom Jones said that the trails are used a great deal and if camp sites are added, it would generate more visitors.

Both Cadwell and two individuals who were on hand representing some of the area riders said that the campground would more than pay for itself.

Alderman Harold Ellinger asked if LaBelle could get an estimate of what the plans will cost, to which LaBelle said he would try to do.

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