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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The estimated cost to build a campground in Stuart Park directly east of Tom Prince Memorial Park in Colfax is $175,000 to $190,000.
Bob Bossany, director of the Dunn County Economic Development Corporation, spoke to the Colfax Village Board at the November 14 meeting about the proposed campground.
Bossany said he believes that at a minimum, a campground at Stuart Park would bring in $25,000 to $30,000 in annual profit for the village.
Colfax is “landlocked,” so there are very few projects the village could do to help bring in business, but a campground would be one option and seems like a “no brainer,” he said.
Bossany estimated the capital costs associated with building a campground would be $175,000 to $190,000.
Village trustees Jeff Prince and Anne Jenson, who serve on the village board’s parks committee, have been trying to obtain estimates for the campground that the village board has requested.
Although the draft of an electrical diagram for the campground has been finished, it took several months to get the diagram, and the cost is difficult to estimate because the timeframe of when the construction would take place is not known, they said.
Getting estimates for the plumbing is even more difficult.
Without engineered plans for the campground, contractors have no interest in providing estimates, Prince and Jenson said.
Village Trustee Margaret Burcham asked if Bossany’s estimate of profit on the campground included income for other businesses in the village, such as the grocery store, gas stations and restaurants.
The estimates for income do not include income for other businesses, although additional business for the grocery store, gas stations and restaurants is an important consideration, Bossany said.
A campground in Stuart Park would require a restroom facility.
Wisconsin Surplus Auction had a concrete bathroom on auction that failed to receive any bids, Prince said.
Rand Bates, director of public works, talked with the Waupaca director of public works to find out what happens to the restroom facility since there were no bids on the unit.
Waupaca would be willing to let Colfax have the concrete restroom facility at no cost, Bates said.
The bathroom was constructed by Huff Cut in 1999, and the construction involves panels that have been welded together, he said, noting that restroom facilities are no longer constructed using that method and are cast in one or two parts rather than in panels.
Bates said he is waiting on a call back from an employee at Huff Cut who constructed the bathrooms with welded together panels in 1999 to find out the process for disassembling the unit so it could be transported to Colfax.
The approximate size of the restroom facility is 20 feet by 34 feet, he said.
The next step toward constructing a campground at Stuart Park would be obtaining a proposal from at least three engineers for the cost to design a campground and the cost estimate to build a campground.
After the proposals are received, the Colfax Village Board would then select an engineering company to do the cost estimates for designing and building a campground.
After the estimates are received, a business plan should be written to include the costs of construction and how the campground will be operated.
Dunn County has indicated that Colfax is not exempt from being required to have a county campground permit, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer.
Niggemann asked the village board if she should submit an application for the permit.
Potable water would be a consideration, she said.
Members of the village board said they believed the Colfax Fairgrounds would meet the requirement for a campground and that the village should apply for county campground permit for the fairgrounds.
The Colfax Village Board approved a motion to apply for a county campground permit for the fairgrounds for 2023.
Voting in favor of the motion were Jody Albricht, village president; and village trustees Margaret Burcham, Anne Jenson, Jeff Prince and Gary Stene.
Village trustees Carey Davis and Jen Rud were absent from the meeting.