Town Chips in to Save New York Campground
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation says it will open its campground in Caroga Lake after local officials agreed to kick in money to cover the park's operating deficit, according to the Albany Times Union.
Caroga Lake was one of seven campgrounds and two day-use areas in the Adirondack and Catskill forest preserves slated to stay closed this summer because of the state's fiscal crisis. The 161-site campground was about $36,000 in the red last year.
Town of Caroga officials worried about the closing's effect on tourism.
Last week, the town committed enough funding to address the campground's revenue shortfalls (approximately $36,000) and DEC agreed to reopen Caroga Lake for the season.
From May 27 to June 24, the campground will operate Thursdays through Sundays only. From June 25 to the closing on Sept. 6, the campground will be open all week.
DEC has begun the transfer of staff needed to cover the operations and will open the facility in time for Memorial Day weekend. Hiring of additional seasonal workers, such as lifeguards and maintenance staff, will begin when the campground is open seven days a week.
DEC is working closely with ReserveAmerica, the state's camping reservation service, to contact visitors whose reservations were previously cancelled, to offer them their original reservations and to reopen the camping site inventory to them before it is made available to the general public. DEC will cover the cost of the reservation fees to lessen the impact to the visitors that were affected.
All other campers interested in making reservations at Caroga Lake can do so beginning on Thursday (May 20).
The DEC manages 52 campgrounds in the Adirondacks and Catskills. The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation began shutting down 55 parks and historic sites elsewhere in the state on Monday to save money.