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Electrical system at Prairie Creek Reservoir fails code

Electrical system at Prairie Creek Reservoir is being upgraded due to failing code

MUNCIE, Ind. --- Prairie Creek Reservoir is upgrading its current electrical system from 30-amp service to 50-amp service. This comes after the service offered does not comply with the National Electric Code when campers apply cheater boxes.

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

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

Discussions have been on high alert for the past week because of how PCR and the city are going to upgrade the system.

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

“Effective immediately, cheater boxes will not be allowed on city of Muncie park grounds,” Ridenour stated.

If campers use cheater boxes on campgrounds, termination of their lease will occur.

People in attendance did not have much to say about the upgrade, but people watching through 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 a 30-amp blowing fuses, making it a fire safety risk.”

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

“I totally understand their frustration,” Ashley Wright, operations manager for PCR said. “It is frustrating this is a problem that has been here for so long but hasn’t been fixed.”

The staff at PCR got permission from the board at the February Parks Department

Meeting to explore external funding options to help the process due to below average fees over in the past.

“We hope this will help us bring updates to not only the campground but the docks as well,” Wright said.

“We know that most campers like the lower rent that Prairie Creek has compared to other campsites, but upgrading is very expensive,” Clark said.

With the upgrade coming and the new additions already added to PCR, campers, and staff are ready for the upgrade to start. Other changes that have happened at the Reservoir include new hot water heaters, new roof, park signage and road wayfinding signs, new ADA floating dock, improved roads, and South Shore Campground.

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

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