Some Thurmond Lake facilities might close earlier due to budget cuts

Some of Thurmond Lake’s campgrounds and day-use recreation areas might close earlier, and possibly open later, as the Army Corps of Engineers adapts to a leaner fiscal 2012 budget year.

“These are mainly minor curtailments of part-year day-use areas and part-year camping areas,” said corps spokesman Billy Birdwell.

Currently, several boat ramps are also closed, but the reason is low water, and not budget issues.

Some of the pending closures are in line with measures taken last year, said Chrissy Westerberg, the project’s chief ranger.

“The campgrounds at Mount Carmel and Broad River will close Labor Day, as they have the last few years,” she said. “But all of the other campgrounds, with the exception of Petersburg, will close Sept. 30.”

In the past, about half the corps campgrounds remained open an additional month – usually through October.

Petersburg, located in Columbia County, is the largest and most-used campground. It is open year-round, although portions of the facility can be closed during slower months.

Day-use areas will close Labor day evening, as they did last year, but planning is already under way to open some of those sites later than usual in 2012, she said. Specific dates will be announced once the plan is final.

Similar cutbacks are occurring at many corps facilities, including Lake Lanier, where the corps has announced plans to open some areas later, and close them earlier, next year.

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