Wisconsin County Cans Campground Manager
The manager of the county-owned Goose Island Campground near Stoddard, Wis., is out after failing to turn over more than $70,000 in fees collected in 2012, officials said Wednesday (Jan. 23).
The LaCrosse Tribune reported that La Crosse County terminated its agreement with Nancy Ida Jensen on Jan. 8 for repeatedly falling behind on payments, culminating in being short about 25% of the $272,959 owed in 2012 revenue from the park, said Steve O’Malley, county administrator.
The county’s facilities department has assumed management of the popular Mississippi River campground south of La Crosse for now, O’Malley said, adding the public likely will notice no changes.
All campground reservations and deposits already taken will be honored, he stressed.
The campgrounds will open for the 2013 season as scheduled April 15, said Mary Kaufmann, parks office supervisor for the county.
Jensen had managed the 200-acre campground since 2007 under a concessionaire’s agreement that allowed her to keep a portion of the annual revenue, such as a $75 commission on each seasonal site reserved.
In 2010, she retained $38,885 of the $317,350 generated by the campground, according to county records.
At her request, the county in February 2011 extended Jensen’s contract through 2016 “in recognition of the excellent services provided by the concessionaire.”
But in that same year, she began a pattern of late payments to the county, O’Malley said.
Though out as manager, Jensen still must pay the county $70,106.44 for 2012, plus $9,540 collected as deposits from seasonal campers for 2013, O’Malley said.
The sheriff’s department, however, is not involved and no criminal investigation is being done.
Goose Island has about 325 sites that can accommodate more than 400 campers. Some are strictly tent sites, while others have electrical and water hookups available. About 70 are rented out for the entire season, from April 15 to Oct. 30; those already have been reserved for the year, Kaufmann said.