Missouri State Parks renews Viney Creek lease

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Area opens Friday, closes on Oct. 1

In February 2014, the Viney Creek Recreational Area near Golden was marked for closure, but Missouri State Parks stepped in to ensure the serene area, which includes campgrounds, playgrounds, picnic areas and boat ramps, remained open to area residents.

The park was scheduled to close after $500,000 was cut from budgets to Table Rock Lake and Dam.

The county was previously working with the Corps to lease the park, but Cherry Warren, Barry County commissioner, said the county did not have the funds to make improvements to its waste water system. The park has a 30-some-year-old sand filtration system, which would cost around $50,000-100,000 to bring into compliance with new EPA regulations, which went into effect on Oct. 1, 2015.

Due to the issues with the waste water system, Missouri State Parks stepped in to lease the property and ran it from May 2014 to September 2014.

Laurie Driver, public affairs specialist with the Army Corps of Engineers in Little Rock, Ark., said the area cost $43,852.69 to operate in 2013, and recorded 14,304 visitors, making it the least-visited of the 17 parks on Table Rock Lake managed by the Corps. The most-visited park is Indian Point near Branson, taking in 394,760 visitors.

In 2013, Viney Creek took in $30,000 in 
usage fees.

According to Driver, the no-cost lease with Missouri State Parks, which has renewed the lease for Viney Creek, has been extended to April 30, 2017, and includes a four-year option the state can act on at any time before the end of the lease.

"We had to look at our budget and usage, and Viney Creek was not one of our most widely-used areas and so we had to make a decision to get the most bang for our buck," Driver said. "We reached out to various state and local agencies to partner with us. We came to the agreement [with Missouri State Parks] this year after being in negotiations in the fall and spring. We like to have our recreational facilities open to the local area, and if we can't open them, we will try to find someone who can. We are glad Missouri State Parks has partnered with us to make sure this recreational area was still available to residents in that area."

According to camp reservations, the park will open Friday remain open through the season until Oct. 1.

For more information or to make reservations, people may visit www.mostateparks.com, or call 1-877-ICampmo.

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