Curwensville Lake Authority increases fees|
Thursday, January 10, 2013
By Dianne Byers Staff Writer
Faced with another season of expected increased costs for amenities, Curwensville Lake Authority approved minor increases for admission, camping, pavilion rental and boat mooring for the 2013 season at Curwensville Lake Recreation Area during yesterday's meeting.
After a review of its 2011-12 audit, which noted the lake had actual income of $170,069 for the year beginning Oct. 1, 2011 and ending Sept. 30 that included a $60,000 stipend from the Clearfield County Commissioners and operating costs of $156,829, members said they have to make the lake more self-sufficient and build a reserve to address emergencies and future developments.
If the commissioners were to lessen or eliminate that support, the lake would no longer be able to be used as a recreation area, which would be a great loss to the county and its residents, members said.
In the note accompanying the lake's financial statement, prepared by Catalano, Case, Catalano & Fannin CPA, Clearfield, the company states, "Operations of Curwensville Lake Recreation Area are subsidized by the Clearfield County Commissioners, During the fiscal years ending Sept. 30, 2012 and 2011, the authority received $60,000 each year from the commissioners...In the event that the commissioners would become unable and unwilling to continue the above level of support, the authority's operation of Curwensville Lake Recreation Area would likely be discontinued."
The lake receives no state or federal support. Last season the authority did trim a number of expenses according to the audit but cannot fully eliminate those associated with septic treatment and disposal, grounds upkeep, employees, electricity and trash removal. Jim Kling, chairman, said, "(The staff and the authority) did a wonderful job of cutting costs but had we not made those sacrifices and watched expenses like we did we would be in the hole more than $15,000."
After a review of the rates charged for 2013 camping at local state parks and deciding even with small increases, Curwensville Lake's campground's rates are comparable or lower, members authorized small across-the-board increases.
Those include a $3 per vehicle entrance fee up from $2. Season pass rates will increase to $65 per vehicle, $45 for a senior citizen's vehicle and $85 for a vehicle towing a watercraft.
Camping rates are also going up. Those camping in the campground and using electricity at their site will pay $27 per night. Senior citizens will be charged $22. Overflow area camping charge is $20 per night. Those using primitive sites or camping at the marina or beach area will be assessed $18 per night and group camping is $24 per member per night with a reservation fee assessed.
Although it has been discussed at previous meetings but not enacted, visitors to the camping area will be asked to pay $1 per person for those over the age of 10.
Authority members said those day visitors are using the restrooms and other facilities and they must levy a fee in order to offset the costs for cleaning and septic treatment.
Pavilion rentals will increase to $70 per day up from $65 and those mooring a boat will be charged $300 for the season for the first year and $250 for the season for subsequent years up from $235.
The fee for overnight mooring will remain at $3. Those who want lake staff to set or remove their boat docks will be charged $30 with a winter storage fee of $150.
Jesse Mayhew, authority member, said the authority members would like to not raise rates but must if the lake is to remain open as a recreation area. "If we don't, we won't be able to continue and the lake falls apart," he said.
In other business, the authority:
• noted a meeting to discuss formation of a support group for Curwensville Lake Recreation Area will be held Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Curwensville Community Center. Anyone interested in working to preserve or develop the lake and sustain its future existence is encouraged to attend the meeting.
• canceled the Feb. 13 meeting and scheduled the next business meeting for Feb. 5 at 10 a.m. at the lake's administrative office.
• scheduled the annual cleanup weekend at the lake for April 5-6. More details about the event will be announced at the February meeting.
• authorized contacting the state Fish and Boat Commission to schedule a date to construct and place additional fish habitats in the lake.
• retained Catalano, Case, Catalano & Fannin CPA, Clearfield as auditor and Kim Kesner, Clearfield, as solicitor for 2013.
• accepted a proposal from Lamar Advertising Co. to place billboards in Cambria and Huntingdon counties advertising the lake at a cost of $5,000. Half the cost will be paid for with a grant from Visit Clearfield County formerly the Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority.