By Tim Leeds/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
Local groups are working to expand the camping and recreation facilities at Fresno Reservoir west of Havre.
Mike Badgley of the Fresno Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited said Walleyes and the Railroad Pagers Association are building a new campground and pavilion above the main beach at the reservoir.
"We have the dirt moved but we have to haul a bunch of gravel for the campground," Badgley said. "This is the major project to improve that area out there."
Craig Buettner, a member of both the Fresno Chapter and Railroad Pagers, said the Pagers are paying for and building a concrete base for the pavilion. The cost is about $5,000.
The money will come from the Pagers' budget, Buettner said, which is mostly funded through the monthly dues of members.
He said the Pagers hope to have the pad and support structures ready for the pavilion in July. The work is being done with volunteer labor, so he's not sure when it would actually be done.
"Sometimes those things don't come together exactly on a schedule," he said.
The work is being done on land donated to the Fresno Chapter by Hubert Goggins, Buettner said. It is separate from a pavilion the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which oversees Fresno's operations, is planning to build.
Badgley said the pavilion donated by the two groups will replace a pavilion at the reservoir that burned down in the 1970s.
"This will be concrete and steel so it can't be burnt down like the last one was," he said.
He said the Bureau of Reclamation donated about 10 or 12 heavy wooden picnic tables that members of the Fresno Chapter transported from Canyon Ferry Reservoir to Havre. A Havre Boy Scout repaired and refinished the tables as an Eagle Scout project, and they will be placed at the new campground.
Badgley said the new campground also will have several fire pits. The Fresno Chapter will eventually install lights at the campground as well, he said.
"And there will be no charge" to use the campground, he added.
The project is just one of the many projects the Fresno Chapter does every year, he said, including donating $5,000 this year toward a $200,000 study the state plans on the future rehabilitation of the St. Mary Diversion, which supplies most of the water in the Milk River every year. The $5,000 is part of a local match for $100,000 approved for the study by the Legislative Finance Committee.
Other projects the Fresno Chapter has worked on include installing a solar-powered light at Kremlin Bay at Fresno, painting and striping the parking lot by the boat dock near the dam, and repairing and improving the dock.
The Fresno Chapter also worked with the county and the Agribusiness Committee of the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce to make improvements at Beaver Creek Lake 8 miles south of Havre. The Fresno Chapter and the Ag Committee built walls on three sides of the pavilion there, while the county leveled campgrounds at the lake.
The Fresno Chapter also improved the boat docks at Beaver Creek Lake, Badgley said.
The money for the Fresno Chapter projects comes out of its yearly budget, which is primarily funded through donations. Most of the donations are made at the annual banquet in March.
Badgley said the community is very generous in its support of the Fresno Chapter, probably because it can see that the money is going to worthwhile projects.
"We're not just collecting money. We're going out and doing those improvements," he said.