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State Park Campground Closed Memorial Day

May 25, 2012, 5:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

State Park Campground Closed Memorial Day

It's been a scramble to get some campgrounds in KELOLAND ready for Memorial Day. Some were set back by recent flooding and others from last year's high water.

Game, Fish & Parks announced as recently as a week ago that some of the flood damaged campgrounds on the Missouri River would be open for this holiday weekend, but a northeast South Dakota campground plagued with water problems for a few years now won't even be close to ready.

The golf course is open at Fisher Grove State Park in Spink County, but the campground isn’t.

"We're hoping for memorial weekend, to be open on memorial weekend next year," Chuck Halbert said.

Halbert is park manager and golf course superintendent at Fischer Grove State Park.

For the first time in four years, the park didn't face flooding.

It was dry enough to host campers on Memorial Day Weekend, but the bridge leading to the campground was damaged severely during the past floods, so it's not safe to drive across.

The state and golf course association at Fisher Grove split camping revenue. Halbert says the closed campground will cost each of them tens of thousands of dollars.

"[We] had to cut back on the amount of people we hire, you know, and that's really about the only thing we can do," Halbert said.

They are waiting for a plan moving forward to be approved by the state that would develop land on the other side of the river into campsites.

That land has been flooded in the past but not as severely. So, Halbert says he's optimistic there will be an open campground on holiday weekends in the future.

"It's good for business,” Halbert said. “But, you know, most of all it was the people who really enjoyed coming out here. They really enjoy it."

Halbert says if the proposal is approved, the old campground will be used as a walking trail. Fixing the bridge leading to it would have cost more than $1 million and moving the campsites is less than $200,000 Halbert said.

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