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Oregon Park Adding 40 Camp Spurs, 5 Cabins

February 22, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

Construction of the $1.3 million second phase at Linn County’s River Bend Campground in Oregon is under way with 40 new camping spurs to be added to the current 45, according to the Albany Democrat-Herald.

The new spurs are expected to be available by Memorial Day, according to Brian Carroll, parks director.

“We’re actually ahead of schedule,” Carroll said. “It’s going very well. The mild winter has helped us out.”

The project is being paid for in part with a $500,000 grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department from RV fees. “We’ve applied for another grant of about the same amount and are optimistic that we will get it in the spring,” Carroll said.

Carroll said River Bend, which opened in 2005, is open year-round and highly popular. It generated $107,500 in income in fiscal year 2009. Overall, the Linn County parks system brought in $1,052,000, the first time income has topped the $1 million mark.

In time, five small cabins overlooking the South Santiam River will be constructed, according to operations supervisor Richard Frick. They will be about 16-by-20-foot or 18-by-22-foot and have electricity.

“We’re looking at three different designs,” Frick said. “They will probably have three rooms and running water will be available outside. They will not have bathrooms or a kitchen, but there will be a double heating plate so people can do some cooking.”

The units will have decks overlooking the South Santiam River, he added.

Frick said he hopes to get one of the cabins ready this summer. Parks crew members are building a small parking area, and one of the cabins will be adjacent to the parking spot, while the others will be accessed by a rocked trail.

To save money, the county parks maintenance crew builds nearly all of its own structures, Frick said. Last year, crews built a 1,400-square-foot home at the entrance of the campground as a park ranger’s residence.

“We’ll start with one cabin and then see how things go,” Frick said.

Carroll added that cabins in other county parks systems reportedly do very well.

“Even if the weather is bad, people want to go camping if they have a cabin,” Carroll said. “The occupancy rate in other counties is high.”

Taking advantage of spring-like weather this week, Frick’s crew members are pouring the first of what will be 40 new 14-by-16-foot concrete picnic table pads, and grading rock for the 60-foot-deep camping spurs. At 14 feet, the new spurs are 3 feet wider than the current spurs, and longer.

Frick is using rapidly growing fir trees on the property to create privacy screenings for virtually all of the new camping spurs.

Each site will also have a steel barbecue.

When the River Bend addition is complete, Linn County will have 450 camping sites. They include: Sunnyside, Foster Reservoir, 165; Waterloo, South Santiam River, Lebanon, 120; River Bend, South Santiam River, Cascadia, 85; Whitcomb Creek, Green Peter Reservoir, 40; John Neal Memorial Park, Lyons, 35.

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