Campground Revenue Helps Minnesota City Pay Its Bills
Annual visitors and guests at the Elbow Lake-owned Tipsinah Mounds Park and Campground in west-central Minnesota will see many changes in 2012.
Among them is the addition of a 20-foot by 80-foot emergency shelter, with 75 percent of the funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Fergus Falls Daily Journal reported.
“The addition of the emergency shelter is important,” said Tipsinah Campground Manager Scott Cleveland. “We have 52 seasonal units here in addition to room for 40 RVs and 20 tenters.”
The new shelter was completed in November 2011 and is rated to withstand an F-4 tornado. Features include triple lock steel doors, ventilation and exhaust system and battery-operated indoor emergency lighting if there’s a general power failure.
“Having a severe weather storm shelter here will help our guests sleep better at night,” said Cleveland, “especially if there’s an approaching storm. The shelter is located right in the heart of the park and campground.”
On April 5, Cleveland provided a tour of the main lodge that sleeps nine, has a full kitchen, large living room and stone fireplace. Recent work at the lodge has included repairs of window sills and frames.
Nearby, a shop building has been reshingled.
Tipsinah is a win-win situation for the city of Elbow Lake. First, the fees paid by visitors add to a financially sound Tipsinah Mounds Park and Campground. Second is the benefit of business owners on main street who see increased revenues when campers stay at Tipsinah.
Last summer the city council transferred $20,000 from the Tipsinah campground fund into the general fund, in order to help the city purchase a new fire truck.
This was necessary due to the state cut in Local Government Aid.
Earlier this year the city council transferred more than $4,000 to the public library for computer lab renovation. Last month the council agreed to use about $15,000 from campground funds to build a new restroom at Veterans Park in Elbow Lake.
Tipsinah, even with the transfer of funds to the city, has enough money left over to improve its infrastructure on a yearly basis.
The park and campground are located near Pomme de Terre Lake.
Park manager Cleveland has 15 years in the same position with the city of Elbow Lake. That, note city officials and civic leaders, is one reason for stability at Tipsinah, and its financial success.
It also helps that the city-owned Tipsinah campground is located not far from the privately owned Tipsinah Golf Course.
The city has a public boat launch at Tipsinah campground, a general store and good swimming and fishing. For the safety and peace of mind of its guests, Tipsinah has on-premise caretakers and regular police patrols.