Alabama Parks Face Earlier Closing Dates
Two federal campgrounds in Alabama will be shutting their gates earlier than expected because of budget cuts, WRBL-TV, Columbus, Ga., reported.
Bill Smallwood is the project manager for some of the campgrounds on Lake Eufaula and the Chattahoochee. Smallwood said the budget they have is based on the President’s proposed budget which will cause two campgrounds out of four to close 60 days earlier than normal.
“Based on the budget we have so far for FY 12, fiscal year 12, we're looking at making some cut backs in our recreation programs,” said Smallwood.
The campgrounds affected are White Oak Creek and the one closest to Columbus-Bluff Creek.
“Closing the entire campground is a way we can save money without going out and closing a large number of parks because campgrounds are a lot more expensive to operate than day use areas,” said Smallwood.
The Bluff Creek and White Oak Creek campgrounds are scheduled to close in October and reopen in February.
Bluff Creek camper, Jimmy Mayo said he’s been to Bluff Creek around 15 times and the closing is going to put a hitch in his vacation plans.
“To me and my wife we're both retired and on fixed income and we have a card that we can count on half priced in the Corp Engineer parks and it's the only relaxation that we can get,” said Mayo.
Smallwood said the months the federal parks will be closed are usually the slow time of the year… but not to fear the parks will re-open.
“It will be open during the biggest part of the recreation season, the major summer holidays and most of the best fishing part of the year in the spring so we're not going to be closed the whole time,” said Smallwood.
Smallwood adds that the money the federal campgrounds receive from visitors goes back to the U.S. Treasury.