Branch County has five parks: Angel Cove, Gilead Lake, Memorial Park, Quincy-Marble Lake and Riverbend.
Three have public campgrounds – Angel Cove, Memorial, and Quincy-Marble Lake. This fall, Branch County announced a seasonal rate increase of $ 500, from $ 1,500 to $ 2,000 per lot, for each of the parks except the Angel Cove waterfront lots which cost $ 2,100. .
The increase did not go well with some seasonal campers who arrived at the November County Parks Board meeting to express their displeasure. Eleven spoke during the public comments, about half from Angel Cove and the other half from Memorial Park.
The most common complaint was insufficient electrical service. Campers at Angel Cove spoke of flooding and standing water during heavy rains and felt their park was not being maintained sufficiently. Trees that fell during summer storms were not felled in time.
Roger Black, of Angel Cove, said if the rates go up, why can’t a part be spent on entertainment and better upkeep.
“There are a lot of things that I consider normal upkeep over the years that have been overlooked,” Black said.
Joan Colitti of Angel Cove, sent the Commissioners photos of the Angel Cove conditions.
“We walk around in rubber boots all summer because it’s like a swamp,” she said.
Randy Daniel of Memorial Park said, “Why are you charging us so much, but you just don’t do anything? “
The County Commissioners on the Parks Council are Steve Weigt, Randy Travelbee and Bob Mayer. One of them said it had been a long time since they had raised rates.
“We have increased the rates to improve all the parks,” said Weigt, chairman of the board.
“We have a master plan and it included all the parks,” said Jay Miller, head of the parks department and the highways commission. “It’s aggressive. It’s for three years. A lot of the things you mentioned are included in the master plan, from WiFi to drainage. We talked about paving.
The three main storms of the summer caused trees to fall, Miller said. It was difficult to follow this year.
Commissioners have promised to return to seasonal campers in the near future.
After the meeting, Miller provided the Daily Reporter with a list of six private campgrounds in Branch County. Seasonal rates range from $ 4,500 to $ 2,150 at five hours. One is less than $ 1,700. The rates for private campsites are also listed on their websites.
County Parks Branch:
- Angel Cove on River Road, Coldwater, with six acres was acquired in 1977. Playground, boat launches, picnic shelter, shuffleboard and basketball equipment are primarily available only to those camping at the 110 sites.
- Memorial Park is located on Messenger Lake, North Behnke Road, Coldwater. It was acquired in 1964 and spans approximately 30 acres with boat launching ramps, washrooms, parking, 52 campsites, cottage rentals, picnic facilities, sports facilities. and rental of pavilions.
- Quincy-Marble Lake Park on Lake Boulevard in Quincy was acquired in the early 1970s. It has approximately 60 acres with boat launching ramps, 129 campsites, picnic facilities, restrooms, a parking and rental of pavilions.
- Gilead Lake Park about six miles south of Bronson on Booth Road, about six acres leased in 1975 includes boat launching ramps, restrooms, parking, and picnic facilities.
- Riverbend Park on Union City Road, Union City, is 25 acres and was acquired in 1972. It offers picnic facilities, canoe access, parking, lodge rentals and a disc golf course.