The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

November 16, 2012

Ottumwa sees best camping season yet

Campground managers not returning next year, position open for 2013

OTTUMWA — This year was the best camping season ever at Ottumwa Park, said Parks Director Gene Rathje.

Campers brought in $96,000 in revenue, doubling the total three years ago, he said. Revenue is generated from the $15 it costs per night for an RV, $9 per night for a tent and sales of firewood and refreshments.

“I think a lot of it had to do with the positive attitude and personalities of the campground hosts this year,” Rathje said. “They’re very friendly. We had no complaints at all about the campground.”

Rich and Mary Runnion, of Cheyenne, Wyo., hosted the campground for the first time this year, though they don’t plan on returning next year.

“They decided not to come back, mostly because they’re around their 70s, they’re retired and they want to spend more time enjoying retirement and visiting their grandchildren in Georgia,” Rathje said.

In a recent letter to the editor, the Runnions thanked this year’s campers for a great summer.

“We hope our services will be carried on in a manner of respect and understanding that we exemplified during the seven months we were there,” the Runnions wrote.

The Runnions could not be reached as of press time Thursday.

In 2009, Ottumwa’s campground managers were fired after serving in the position for 11 years due to a “personnel matter.” At a 2010 city council meeting, then-Mayor Dale Uehling said he had received three complaints about the managers, which led to their termination, though he did not elaborate on the complaints.

The firings outraged those in the community and those who have since moved away who camped in the park every summer through letters to the editor, radio interviews and appearances at city council meetings.

The camping season ended on Oct. 31 and will start up again on April 1.

Rathje said they will start advertising for the position in December.

“We’re looking for people that have a trailer, who will live on site and are willing to work for seven months straight,” Rathje said. “They need to have a friendly personality, be good with customer service and have some mowing and cleaning skills.”

Rathje also said weather and improvements to the campground likely helped the season.

“We numbered some of the sites and are stocking trout in the pond,” he said. “If we get through a whole summer with very few or no complaints, it’s win-win for us.”

1
Text Only
Ottumwa
  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0625 OTT Riverfront Renaissance color photo -L -M Riverfront Renaissance begins mapping out ideas

    OTTUMWA — It was serious work to play with stickers and maps Tuesday evening. Concentration was on more than 70 faces as colored dots found their way up and down several maps of the river flowing through downtown Ottumwa. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0624 OTT Marine photos Marine mourned by family

    OTTUMWA --- Adam Wolff's extended family was able to enjoy a bit of time with him before he deployed. "He came back in March, after his [Marine Corps advanced] schooling in North Carolina," said his sister, Angela Malone. "We had a dinner for him, a

    June 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National