Memorial Park

The campground at Memorial Park offers 52 camping sites and several cabins. It has the only public swimming beach in Branch County, Mich. Credit: The Daily Reporter.

Branch County, Mich., has five parks: Angel Cove, Gilead Lake, Memorial Park, Quincy-Marble Lake and Riverbend, according to The Daily Reporter.

Three have public campgrounds — Angel Cove, Memorial and Quincy-Marble Lake. This fall, Branch County announced a $500 seasonal rate increase from $1,500 to $2,000 per lot, for each of the parks, with the exception of Angel Cove waterfront lots which are $2,100.

The increase didn’t go over well with some seasonal campers who arrived at the November county parks board meeting to voice their discontent. Eleven spoke during public comment, about half from Angel Cove and half from Memorial Park.

The most common complaint was insufficient electric service. Angel Cove campers spoke of flooding and standing water during heavy rains and did not feel their park was sufficiently maintained. Trees that came down in summer storms were not removed in a timely fashion.

County commissioners on the parks board are Steve Weigt, Randy Travelbee and Bob Mayer. One stated it has been a long time since they’d raised rates.

“We raised the rates to improve all the parks,” said Weigt, the chairman of the board.

“We have a master plan and it included all the parks,” said Jay Miller, head of the parks department and the road commission. “It’s aggressive. It’s for three years. A lot of things you mentioned are included within the master plan from the Wi-Fi to the drainage. We’ve talked about paving.”

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