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County to take online camping reservations

Those wishing to reserve camping sites at the Lake Marion and Piepenburg county parks will soon be able to do it online.
On Tuesday, the McLeod County Board of Commissioners approved a contract to create an online reservation site. The initial cost will be $7,100, with a yearly maintenance cost of $3,600 after that.
Al Koglin, parks superintendent, said that campers will be able to view site maps and photographs and be able to reserve sites online.
Currently, campers have to make reservations by phone or at the park. Park staff sit at each campground two days prior to opening each spring to take reservations.
Koglin said campers will have to pay for their reservations when they make them, which will help alleviate park caretakers collecting money and keeping it onsite until it can be deposited.
“Caretakers will not have to have all that money sitting there,” said Koglin.
However, Koglin said, once the county goes to an online reservation system, that will be the only way campers can reserve sites.
Commissioner Sheldon Nies, who said he is not computer savvy, asked if campers could come to the parks department for assistance with making reservations. Koglin said that would be possible, and that spur-of-the-moment drop-ins at campgrounds could probably be assisted by caretakers.

For more, see the Oct. 5 print edition of The Chronicle.