EVART — The Evart city council was presented with an assessment of the facilities at the Riverside Park West campground at its recent meeting.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the campground remained closed this season, which allowed for an in-depth assessment of the campground assets as they exist in their current condition,” city manager Sarah Dvoracek told the council on Oct. 19. “Much of the infrastructure related to the campground dates to the 1970s and needs substantial upgrades for continued use.”

According to the assessment provided to the council members, very few upgrades have taken place at the campground since the 1980s, leaving the campground in need of “substantial upgrades if the city plans to continue to operate a safe and secure campground.”

Steve Bacon of Mr. Electric Central Michigan said, after viewing the electrical system, that it is antiquated and undersized for today’s campers and RVs.

“It is showing signs of fatigue and corrosion, and upon investigation of the pedestal interiors, I found a major amount of corrosion and deterioration of wire connections and terminals as well as damage to wires and loose connections,” Bacon said in a letter to the city.

Bacon said, in addition, the panels are antiquated and showing signs of deterioration, and are not suited for the electrical load they might be under, and the transformer is undersized for the electrical load it would carry.

“The system could fail, or worse case, cause fire under the right circumstances,” he said. “A complete replacement of the electrical system is recommended for safety and efficiency.”

Over the past five years there have been numerous electrical issues including overheating of wires, tripping of breakers and frequent replacement of breakers, the assessment report said.

Other areas of concern addressed in the assessment report included, the roofs on the office building and the restroom facility needing replaced, cracks in the cement walls of the structures, antiquated plumbing and fixtures, which are prone to leaks, poor condition of the shower facilities, and the RV dump station needing upgrades.

The dump station is tied to the city wastewater system and much of the plumbing has been repaired with a mismatch of various plumbing parts over the years and pose a risk of failure that would not allow for proper cleanup of a sewage spill, the report said.

The assessment report offered three options for the city council to consider — rehabilitation and renovation of the campground, maintenance of the current status with a reduced level of service at the campground, or permanent closure of the campground.

“To continue the operation of the campground at Riverside Park, consideration must be given to a complete upgrade of the campground,” Dvoracek said. “The upgrade could be completed over the course of one season, and the suggested life cycle of such upgrades would be 20 years.”

The estimated cost to refurbish and rehabilitate the campground, submitted from Wolverine Building Group in Evart, is $227,400.

The estimated cost to preserve the current condition and offer a reduced level of service is $13,000, which would include roof replacements and restroom/shower facility upgrades.

Permanent closure of the campground would require removal of the electrical pedestals and water spigots, as well as roof repairs on the structures. The estimated cost for that is $10,500.

According to information provided by Dvoracek, revenue from the campsite has been $3,000 to $5,000 each year, while expenditures for a camp host, maintenance and operations of the campground have been around $10,000, indicating that the campground operates at a substantial loss every year.

No action was taken on the campground. The council will be seeking quotes for upgrades, Dvoracek said.