Prairie Creek

For the past several years, my family has gathered on Memorial Day from different parts of the state.  There were 15 of us last year and it is fun to have enough space to spread out and still be together.  Mostly we enjoy eating, playing cards, drinking a little, taking a little hike, fishing if possible, maybe just hanging out with nothing particular in mind.   We have been to various locations around Iowa.

 Right now Jackson County residents are looking at an opportunity to provide that kind of adventure right here in Jackson County.  We can host other groups looking for space, entertainment, time to spend with those we care about.

The Jackson County Conservation Board is planning a large project at the Prairie Creek Recreation Area near Maquoketa.  Large meaning 50 campsites and four all-weather cabins.  Obviously it includes a substantial price tag.  The Jackson County Board of Supervisors is contemplating a General Revenue Loan to help create this campground.  Proceeds from the campground and cabin rentals will be able to make the loan payments.  After the loan is repaid, that income will be available for other projects.

 This is not taxpayer money being carelessly thrown about.  If all the best laid plans go completely awry, Jackson County will be responsible for the loan payments.  But even conservative estimates using low income and high expenses show enough money for the campground to pay for itself.  Experienced professionals have determined that this is exactly the kind of improvements which will only enhance the quality of life for many local people, as well as providing an opportunity to introduce Jackson County to many others.

If you want to look at maps and financials, please ask the Jackson County Conservation office at:  jacksonccb@jacksonccb.com or 563-652-3783.

 Your Supervisors are looking for input until noon on March 4, as they want to make a decision the next day.  Here is how you can contact them:

• Send an e-mail to their office: jcbos@co.jackson.ia.us

• Mike Steines, 563-212-5125; 36746 Bellevue Cascade Road, Bellevue, Iowa 52031

• Jack Willey, 563-652-2318; 315 Eddy Place, Maquoketa, IA 52060

• Larry McDevitt, 319-541-6357; 3183  223rd Avenue, Maquoketa, IA 52060

Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration about the future of Jackson County, Iowa.

 Mary Hayward

Maquoketa