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Potsdam plans RV park

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POTSDAM — Plans are in motion to develop a campground for recreational vehicles at Sandstoner Park.

The proposal calls for 12 sites, each with enough room for a large RV, a picnic table and a fire pit.

“They won’t feel like they’re crammed in like sardines,” said village Planning and Development Director Frederick J. Hanss.

Electricity and water will be provided for each site, and the village is also considering providing Wi-Fi.

Sewage operations will not be provided at the park, but campers will be able to dispose of waste at the nearby sewage treatment plant.

The park has more than three acres of parking lot, most of which has gone unused for years, according to Mr. Hanss. A segment of the lot near the river will be removed to make room for the sites, so visitors will not have to camp on a slab of asphalt.

The estimated cost for the project is $164,000. The town and village will each contribute about $20,500, in hopes that the $123,000 remainder will be covered by a state grant.

Grant recipients will be announced in late fall or early winter. If the village is awarded the grant, design work will begin, and the park will be complete in time for the 2015 camping season.

The town and village hope the campsites will eventually become a money maker, as well as a draw for tourists. All proceeds from the camp will benefit the recreation program.

Pricing hasn’t been finalized, but it will be similar to sites at nearby state campgrounds, between $24 and $27 a day, according to Mr. Hanss.

Sandstoner Park is within walking distance of downtown Potsdam, and might provide a small boost to business during the slow summer months.

“These folks are going be coming to town at a time when our business cycle is at its lowest ebb,” Mr. Hanss said.

Initially the plan is for the park to attract overflow from the oft-full nearby state parks. Mr. Hanss said he hopes that, with fishing, swimming, kayaking and downtown Potsdam all nearby, the park will eventually become a destination in its own right.

“I think once people come and see what we have to offer, they’ll come again,” he said.

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