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Camping plans for 2021 may be on hold in Erie County

Posted at 6:45 PM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 18:45:19-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It's been a frustrating summer season for campers in Erie County. In May, 7 Eyewitness News brought you the stories of seasonal RV campers who couldn't access their homes.

Other campers had their summer plans canceled.

"Since the pandemic started...we've had to refund a lot of people, the process is a long process," said James McDonald, Deputy Commissioner of Recreation for Erie County.

This massive refund process has been difficult to manage, according to McDonald.

"Our office staff, it's not something we're used to doing. In a regular time we normally don't offer refunds. For this is it was like every single refund was done for every single reservation," said McDonald.

In fact, McDonald says the county is so busy handling refunds for this year that it's already putting a hold on reservations for next year at Sprague Brook Park.

"Instead of giving everyone a false sense of hope where they have these things planned for later this year and also because we don't know what the start of next year is gonna look like, so we decided to push that out," said McDonald.

This hold may be temporary, the county hopes to open reservations back up by the end of this year, but there's no date set in stone.

Anyone still waiting on refunds should get their money back in the next month or two, according to McDonald. in the meantime, he encourages campers to soak up Sprague Brook this year before the sun sets on this most unusual of summers.