The Hardy RV Camper Park has recently received a much needed facelift and the upgrades aren’t finished yet. Hardy Volunteer Fire Department is once again running the park, after a two summer break. Once learning about the upgrades needed at the park, Hardy Advertising and Promotions Commission re-allocated funds to assist the fire department with some changes.
“Since we have taken over, the A and P has helped a whole bunch by re-allotting some funding, which allowed us to make some improvements to the park,” explained Director of Public Safety Scott Rose. The first improvement was an upgrade for the restrooms. Tile flooring was installed in the restrooms along with LED lighting and a new paint job makes the restrooms look more inviting. New shower curtains and soap dispensers were donated by Best Western Village Inn in Hardy. Rose said the only thing left to improve the restrooms is to work on the ventilation. A load of gravel was hauled in to help with the road through the park and keeping the area mowed has helped the overall appearance.
Once upon a time, the Hardy RV Camper Park was a very popular place and brought in many people to the town, which is one reason why Hardy A and P stepped in to help. “It is a promotion of the city by doing this,” said Hardy A and P Commissioner Freda Mae Gamblin. “Just the one improvement of the restrooms, we’ve had a lot of compliments from people who have been coming here for years,” added Commissioner Nimmi Desai. Rose is grateful for the help Hardy A and P has provided and said, “They have helped tremendously.”
Hardy A and P wants to make this a positive thing for the fire department, park and city. The funds were available through allocating specific amounts to assist in the improvements. This was a budgeting of funds specifically for the use of the RV Park and it is separate from the parks and maintenance funds, which goes to the city, but the A and P can provide assistance to the parks.
“I would like to find volunteers. People that have some free time that would be interested in coming down to help, are more than welcome. The park is a good thing. It helps the community and the city by bringing in more people. I want to see it [camper park] improve because I think those people are spending money in the two which brings the economy up in our town,” Rose said. He didn’t know exactly how the fire department was going to handle taking care of the park again, but he saw that someone needed to take an interest in the park to make improvements. “I didn’t expect to have the help from the [Hardy] A and P, but it has been a blessing,” said Rose.
Volunteers are needed in every aspect of taking care of the park, especially on the weekends to help take money as campers come in. “There are living quarters at the office. It is a small room, but it has a bed and air conditioner. They could fish on the river, cookout at night and just be able to collect money and complete a screening,” said Rose.
The electrical wiring at the campsite has been an issue for several years and improving that is one of Rose’s goals for the camper park. He is working on ways to save money and calling on friends and community members to donate time or supplies. Michael Husky, who is a personal friend of Rose’s and an electrician out of Jonesboro, has looked over the electrical situation at the park and has volunteered to tell where to trench lines, if HVFD comes up with a trencher. Rose is also hopeful he can get the wiring for the project donated.
The camper park’s office is in a camper and instead of rebuilding an office in that location, Rose wants to save funds by renovating the current office. “I would like to come up with some wood siding, to make it appear like a cabin. Campsite BBQ grills will be purchased and installed in the near future as well.
Bob Bickell brought inmates down and they cleaned off the river bank all the way along the camper park’s bank and they uppercut it, which we are going to go back in and do more of in the future,” said Rose. There were two people staying at the park at the time of the restroom renovations, so they assisted with the restroom project. “They helped us keep it clean and did a lot of the work,” he added.
Rose has seen an increase in campers at the park since its first weekend in May, Memorial Day weekend. Each weekend brings in more campers and the Fourth of July weekend brought in a lot of campers, making it the busiest weekend yet.
“We’ve got a lot done pretty quickly,” said Rose. They began improvements following Memorial Day weekend. There is no timeline for improvements as Rose hopes to make ongoing changes to make the park better. “My plan is to keep improving. I would like to get the electric completed and host a RV convention, have an arts and crafts festival there again with vendors. That used to bring a lot of people,” Rose said. Having a boat dock installed at the park is also something Rose and Hardy A and P Commissioners show interest in learning more about.
Veterans, police officers and firemen receive a 10 percent discount on camping rates. Prices vary according to the size of lots, utilities and pets. For more information or to reserve your spot at the Hardy RV Camper Park, call 870-856-2356.
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