Jailed Park Owner Hopes to Reopen Park Soon
An Erie County, Pa., Department of Health inspector is scheduled to visit the Greenfield Township campground today (Aug. 24) to determine if it meets state health regulations.
“I have been in full compliance since Thursday,” Moon Meadows Owner Tom Peckham told the Erie Times-News. “I hope the health department agrees and that I can open up immediately.”
Moon Meadows has been closed since Aug. 1, four days after Erie County Judge Shad Connelly sent Peckham to the Erie County Prison for failing to either close the Station Road campground or improve its sanitation system.
Peckham was released from prison after the campground closed. Since his release, Peckham has been working to reopen Moon Meadows.
“I changed the septic tank and the holding tanks,” Peckham said. “I have cut the available spaces in half. I now have 19 cabins and 15 RV spaces.”
Doug Range, director of environmental health for the Erie County Department of Health, confirmed that an inspector will visit Moon Meadows today.
Asked if the campground could reopen if it passes the inspection, Range referred the question to Erie County Assistant Solicitor George Joseph.
The problem is that 26 people were living permanently at Moon Meadows before it closed, Joseph said.
“The county health department might not be in a position to issue Moon Meadows a license to operate,” Joseph said. “Because of the number of permanent residents, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) must approve the campground’s community water source.”
The DEP has jurisdiction on the water systems of facilities that host 25 or more people for at least 60 days a year, said DEP spokesman Tom Rathbun.
DEP officials visited Moon Meadows last week, Peckham said. He didn’t know if the agency has approved the campground’s water well.
Rathbun was not able to provide further details Monday night.
Getting DEP approval doesn’t matter anyway, Peckham said.
“We’re not going to have permanent residents anymore,” Peckham said.