Parks panel gives nod to Topaz fee hikes

Fees may be raised at the Topaz Lake Campground after a decision by Douglas County Parks & Recreation commissioners at their meeting Wednesday night.

The board will recommend fee hikes to the board of county commissioners.

"If the park continues to lose revenue, then we push for closure," said Parks & Recreation director Scott Morgan. "But we can bring it back with modest fee increases."

Morgan said the park needs to raise between $30,000-$40,000 to break even.

The parks board then approved Morgan's recommendation to raise the RV hook-up fee at the campground from $15 to $17; the dry-camping fee from $10 to $12; the annual-use fee for seniors from $10 to $12; the annual-use fee for county residents from $40 to $45; the annual-use fee for nonresidents from $70 to $80; the regular day-use fee from $5 to $6; and the boat-launch fee from $5 to $6.

The board also approved a recommendation to sell two structures on the county-owned Genoa Lane River Park.

Morgan said the county bought the park with money from a conversation bond passed in 2002.

But he said the 5.42-acre parcel beside the Carson River was bought from a private party.

The parcel contains two structures on its premises.

He said one is a stick-built frame house only 20 feet from the river bank that has suffered major flood damage.

The other is a log house built in the 1970s, also suffering from flood damage.

Morgan said the Nature Conservancy owns property across the street from the park and are interested in building an interpretative center in the area.

Morgan said the county asked the conservancy if they were interested in buying the log house and using it as their interpretative center.

Morgan said conservancy officials investigated the premises, and found the old house not suitable for their needs.

"It would be better to dismantle the log house and sell it, then pay to have it demolished," Morgan said.

Park commissioners approved a recommendation to be made to the board of county commissioners to liquidate the log house and demolish the smaller structure near the river.

"Whatever revenue we make from the house, we would reinvest into the park," Morgan said.

He said he would like to see the property become a day-use, picnic park equipped with bathroom facilities and providing public access to the river.


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