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Dunn County plans recreation area lease extension with Corps

MANNING -- Dunn County plans to extend its lease with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Little Missouri Bay Recreation Area.

Before going ahead with any additional plans for the area, the County Commission will discuss plans with officials in Dunn Center, which is south of the recreation area.

The county's lease with the corps for a boat ramp and parking lot at the recreation area will be up July 31, 2014, said Cari Boster with Dunn County's Jobs Development Authority at last week's meeting at the Dunn County Courthouse.

In order to extend the lease, Boster said the commissioners must have a designated plan for what the county wants to do with the area, which could include adding things like extended camping areas or trails.

Suggestions have been made by the public to allow people to park in the lot overnight to use the boat ramp, but Boster said that creates issues with monitoring the location.

The area is currently authorized only for day use.

"We have had people step forward who would be willing to sell and maintain that permitting system, but it also creates a policing issue as well because we have to make sure that the police have access to that area," Boster said. "Ultimately, the corps is very clear that everything has to be approved through them and all liabilities fall on the county for whatever it is you decide to do."

Commissioner Glen Eckelberg said the area is popular.

"The people who want to go down to there would like to have a parking permit to put in their window, so they can parking their vehicle down there for the weekend, come back after and get and go home," Eckelberg said. "A lot of people are walking down there because there is a path down there, so there are other things for people to do down there, besides fishing."

Boster thought Dunn Center may be interested in developing the area as a recreational destination.

"In fact, it is one of the visions for their community," she said.

Commissioner Bob Kleeman said the area is more popular than he would have first thought.

"As far as I'm concerned, renewing the contract as it is now, I'm 100 percent behind that," he said. "What we do with the rest of it, we probably need to talk to Dunn Center."