A feasibility study approved Tuesday night by Dearborn City Council will help the city determine how to make Camp Dearborn not only sustainable, but more profitable.
"This is a study that the mayor and Recreation Department are asking us to approve to take a look at Camp Dearborn and help us enhance it," Council President Tom Tafelski explained at Tuesday night's council meeting.
The study, to be conducted to Carlisle Wortman Associates, will cost $38,240–taken from the city's Camp Dearborn Operating Fund balance.
It is expected that the contractor will give detailed recommendations for upgrades, changes or rearrangements of the facility in order to make it more appealing to both Dearborn residents and other visitors.
Like past projects, Tafelski said, the costs for any upgrades the city decides to approve–such as a wave pool or water park–would be expected to be repaid to the general fund within a certain period.
Additionally, the study is expected to "give us an idea of other facilities in the area," Tafelski said, "including what they offer and how Camp Dearborn measures up."
Mayor Jack O'Reilly, as well as the Recreation Department, have been vocal in their support for , rather than trying to sell it.
“If we can’t sell it, it should become a revenue generator for the city,” O’Reilly said in 2011, citing the lack of a market for such a facility.
The camp has been either break-even or profitable since 2006, according to Recreation Director Greg Orner. This has allowed camp to pay back the city for funds used to install new RV sites.
The city is also in the process of building , which are expected to draw new users and generate more revenue. The cabins should be completed by the 2012 camp season, Orner said.