Prairie Creek Reservoir electrical system fails to code

MUNCIE, Ind. — Prairie Creek Reservoir is upgrading its current electrical system from 30 amps to 50 amps. This comes after the service being offered does not comply with the National Electrical Code when campers apply cheat boxes.

In a statement by Dustin Clark, Superintendent of Prairie Creek Reservoir, electrical service has been offered for many years at no charge, but the upgrade was necessary due to the increase in more amenities. Clark states that a park is not required to provide electricity, as many parks require campers to use their own electricity.

“50-amp campers have become very popular over the past few years,” Clark said. “Additionally, there has been a surge in the use of personal golf carts, which adds even more demand on an aging electrical system.”

Discussions have been on high alert since last week over how the PCR and the city will upgrade the system.

At the March Parks Department meeting, Chairman Brad Marshall read a letter written by Mayor Dan Ridenour regarding the city’s response to the upgrade and the first change to the process.

“Effective immediately, cheat boxes will not be permitted on Muncie City Park grounds,” Ridenour said.

If campers use cheat boxes at campgrounds, termination of their lease will occur.

Those in attendance didn’t have much to say about the upgrade, but people watching via Facebook Livestream reacted differently.

“I think they really need to be consistent across the board as soon as possible,” Jackie McCord Fisher said. “You don’t want people out there with 30 amp fuses blowing, making it a fire safety hazard.”

Reactions to the upgrade have staff regarding campers and others in Muncie.

“I completely understand their frustration,” said Ashley Wright, operations manager for PCR. “It’s frustrating, it’s a problem that’s been around for so long but hasn’t been resolved.”

PCR staff obtained clearance from the February Parks Department Board

Meeting to explore external funding options to assist the process due to lower than average fees in the past.

“We hope this will help us update not only the campground, but also the docks,” Wright said.

“We know most campers like Prairie Creek’s lower rent compared to other campgrounds, but upgrading is very expensive,” Clark said.

With the upcoming upgrade and new additions already added to the PCR, campers and staff are ready for the start of the upgrade. Other changes to the reservoir include new water heaters, a new roof, park signage and road wayfinding signs, a new ADA floating dock, improved roads, and a south shore campground.

“The majority of customers are seeing these changes and are excited to be part of the new system,” Clark said.

The City of Muncie and PCR staff expect the process to take years to install the new system. But until that change happens, PCR will still be using their 30 amp system.

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