Moberly, Mo., was awarded an $85,000 state grant last week to renovate the Thompson Campground, located within Rothwell Park, according to the Moberly Monitor Index.
The grants are part of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a federal program that can be used by city, county and state governments and school districts to acquire, develop and renovate outdoor recreation projects, according to the governor’s office.
Doug Kliewer, director of Moberly’s Parks and Recreation Department, said an application for the grant was made last fall.
“It’s a grant that over my many years I’ve applied for many times and have not always received. But it is certainly very nice whenever you do receive the grant.”
He explained the money will go toward fixing up existing campsites; a $250,000-$300,000 renovation of the campground is being done this year.
Several improvements are planned for the campground, which is a little on the rustic side. Kliewer said the it will have a total of 33 improved sites when the project is completed. “There’s about the same amount of sites now, but the campgrounds have become somewhat dilapidated over the years,” he said.
Improvements will entail renovation of current sites, including leveling the ground and creation of pull-through sites to accommodate large RVs. The pull-through sites will be hooked up with electricity, water and sewer. A new bathroom and shower facility will be built on their present site and new sidewalks will tie into Rothwell Park’s existing trail system.
Roads into the campground, now gravel, will have asphalt. Several primitive sites for tent campers will remain.
Kliewer said the plan also allows for future development, including the addition of 11 other sites if needed and a shelter.
During the summer season, the campground hosts an average of 17 to 20 campers nightly. The current charge for an overnight stay is $8, a figure that Kliewer said may change after a study is completed by the park board. He said he hopes business will increase.
“We’re probably going to advertise a little bit. I think word of mouth will go a long ways,” he said. “That campground has always been kind of an overnight campground. Hopefully, they’ll decide to spend an extra day or maybe longer with the improvements.”
Kliewer said he also hoped to attract more RV campers, who tend to stay in one spot for a period of time or who perhaps would have get-togethers at the campground. He was optimistic the improvements would lure new campers.