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Campground delays costly for Greenbo

ARGILLITE, Ky. — It’s enough to make a camper really unhappy.

But it’s simple to explain. February was a wash. Now Memorial Day will, in essence, be washed out, at least as far as sampling the new and improved campgrounds at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park.

In December 2007, $1.1 million worth of infrastructure upgrades were bid out to bring the first major improvements to the resort park in 40 years. Work started in late January and then the rains came. That was 24 days of rain, to be exact.

“Mother Nature and the good Lord decided to give us a lot of rain … they couldn’t work,” Cary Lyle, park manager, explained.

But as the weather dried out, the work got back in gear, but not in time for Memorial Day. Right now, the campgrounds are not expected to open until July 1.

“Distel Construction (out of Portsmouth) is doing a really good job. I feel bad for them. They are as heartbroken as I am,” Lyle said. “There’s frustration with our guests wanting to camp out on Memorial Day. It couldn’t be done.”

But when the work is done, there will be 58 upgraded campground sites, all with water and electricity and 24 of them with sewer service. There are also 35 tent camping sites and three dump stations. And most importantly, when it rains, the campgrounds now won’t flood.

“When it rained, it was a muddy, muddy mess,” Lyle said. “They put in really, really good drainage. They have that pretty much taken care of.”

Lyle said he wants to thank State Rep Tanya Pullin, Sen. Charlie Borders and “all the campground guests for making a lot of noise to the folks in Frankfort,” Lyle said. “It was needing it badly.”

However, with the opening delayed, it means the park will lose out on a significant amount of revenue. About 30 percent of the money it takes in a year occurs between its usual opening day March 15 to July 1, this year’s campground opening.

“With us pushing it back to July, we will give the contractor ample time to get the job done, so our tax dollars are being spent to the best. … We want to make sure it is being done well,” he said. “I can understand their frustration and empathize. If I had plans for Memorial Day weekend and all of a sudden to find out the campground is being closed down. But they will have a great place to come to in the future. It is Kentucky’s natural beauty at its best.”