County Lowers Camping Fee For In-County Seniors, Raises It For Non-Residents

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The County Commission on Wednesday lowered the overnight camping fee for in-county seniors and raised it for non-residents at Chester Frost Park.

The charge for non-Hamilton County residents for waterfront spots goes from $25 per night to $30 per night.

It drops for county seniors, veterans, military and ADA from $22.50 per night to $18.75 per night.

The remainder of the new price list includes:

Non-Hamilton County residents:

Inland $28.50

Tent and utilities $26

Primitive $21

Non-Hamilton County residents senior, veteran, military, ADA:

Waterfront $28.50

Inland $27.08

Tent and utilities $24.70

Primitive $19.95

Hamilton County residents:

Waterfront $22.50

Inland $21.15

Tent and utilities $18.90

Primitive $14.40

Hamilton County residents senior, veteran, military, ADA:

Inland $17.63

Tent and utilities $15.75

Primitive $12

County Mayor Jim Coppinger said he ran into a roomful of unhappy seniors at a recent meeting at the park.

He said, "One lady speaking up about charges at other campgrounds across the country probably saved us from being lynched."

County Mayor Coppinger said the seniors were upset that camping fees for them had been raised to $22.50 per night, and he said he was sympathetic.

He said many have been staying off and on at the popular park on Lake Chickamauga for many years. He said, "One camper had stayed 110 days in the same spot last year. Some of them are there long enough to grow tomatoes."

County Commission members, at a budget session on Tuesday, had recommended the increase for non-residents.

Chairman Chester Bankston said he believed the $25 per night could rise to $35 per night without much kickback.

About 40 percent of those who camp at the park are from out of county - many from out of state.

Lee Norris, general services administrator, agreed that the non-resident charge could go up some. However, he said he did not want to get above the rate at Harrison Bay State Park just across the lake.

Commissioner Joe Graham, whose family formerly operated Raccoon Mountain Campground, said Chester Frost Park can charge more because it has amenities that many other local campgrounds don't have - especially the lake itself.

County Mayor Coppinger said seniors complained that campers are the only ones being charged at the park, though there are many other users.

There was discussion of setting a $2 boat launching fee at Chester Frost Park.

The county will likely start charging promoters of bass tournaments for use of the park. County Mayor Coppinger said the promoters do not object to the fee. 

There is a follow-up meeting at Chester Frost Park on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the pavilion.

Get The Skinny On Watts Bar Weeds

Social media is a buzz about Watts Bar weeds. So we asked our TVA aquatic plant expert Dr. Brett Hartis – What exactly is going on with Watts Bar Weeds? It seems like there are a lot of theories about what’s going on with aquatic plants this year on Watts Bar Lake. We’ve heard everything from high water flows, commercial plant management companies killing weeds lake-wide, property ... (click for more)

TVA Invites Public Input On Proposed Updates To Natural Resource Plan

The Tennessee Valley Authority is inviting the public to get involved in updating its 2011 Natural Resource Plan, which guides how TVA manages public lands and waters in its seven-state service area.   The 2011 plan organized TVA’s work into six resource areas, but did not include all of TVA’s Natural Resource efforts. In the 2020 Natural Resource Plan, TVA proposes 10 focus ... (click for more)

State Democrats Refile Suit In Hamilton County Seeking To Keep Robin Smith Off The Ballot; Election Commission Calls Emergency Meeting

The Tennessee Democratic Party has refiled a lawsuit seeking to keep former state GOP Chairman Robin Smith off the ballot in the Aug. 2 primary ballot. In response, the Election Commission has called an emergency meeting for Monday at 9 a.m. The case has been assigned to Chancellor Pam Fleenor. State Democrats are asking for an expedited hearing. Ms. Smith was ... (click for more)

Woman Stabbed Multiple Times At Park Village Apartments

Jeanette Tulloss, 51, was found on the ground outside Park Village Apartments early Tuesday morning. Police said she had sustained multiple stab wounds to her back. Following the incident, Shana Smith, 33, was arrested for attempted homicide and aggravated assault. Officers spoke to Ms. Tulloss in the emergency room of Erlanger Hospital. She said she was approached by Ms. Smith ... (click for more)

Employee Who Stole From East Ridge Should Be Prosecuted

Why has the East Ridge employee who was fired for theft not been charged with theft?    City Manager Scott Miller made the statement that the employee had problems and that the stolen items were returned.  What does that have to do with the employee stealing ?   He has had a history of abuse of city resources. Why is he not being prosecuted? ... (click for more)

Am I Alone? - And Response (5)

Am I alone seems to be quite apt as I begin to form sentences, thoughts and concerns regarding the state of this country. I feel like I am alone trying, somehow, to justify Trump and understand why he is constantly in the middle of chaos.  Now coined as the Liar-in-Chief, Chief Foreign Affairs Coordinator acting for his pal Russian Dictator, Putin.  The silence ... (click for more)