Wristbands and Car Registrations

 We are sending you a copy of your wristband/car registration form from last year. Please review, update and initial this form. In order to ensure that we have your wristbands and car decal/tag packet ready ASAP, we need this completed form returned to our office (N551 Wishing Well Lane, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538) by May 15, 2016.

Please return the form initialed, even if there are no changes. We will only make packets for those who return the form on time. If we did not have a form previously on file for your site, we sent a blank registration form with some basic instructions.

If you turn your form in early, we will be preparing packets as we receive them and you may be able to pick them up at the lodge before the meeting. Please allow us one week to get them ready.

Spring Meeting

The Spring Meeting is at 10:00 am on Saturday, May 21, at Fort Atkinson High School Auditorium, 925 Lexington Blvd, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538.

This is an informational meeting that is open to seasonals and site owners (no one under 18 is allowed). It is is not a business meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to review improvements that have been completed or are planned. We will also review any changes in rules, policies and procedures.

The meeting will be conducted in an orderly fashion with no tolerance for outbursts or interruptions. Our goal is to relay as much information to you as possible in a pleasant environment. Much information and many changes will be presented. Please try to attend so that you can hear the information first- hand; everything that will be presented is very important for you to know and understand.

Golf Cart Registration

Wow, how confusing this has become.

Let’s begin by reminding everyone that the fee to register each golf cart each season is $20. If you have three golf carts, your registration fee would be $60.

So, how will the discount program work this year? First off, I would like to thank all the people who are switching to the new 4″ numbers and rear
plates. You are helping us solve a problem, and therefore you will get
$10 off of your registration. All of you who will be registering your golf cart(s) before Memorial Day weekend are also helping us solve a problem and you will also get $10 off your registration. So, if you upgrade to 4″ numbers and rear plates, and register your golf cart before Memorial Day weekend, you will get free golf cart registration ($20 off).

If you do one or the other, your registration fee would be $10, and if you do neither (and you are not required to have the larger numbers this season) your registration fee would be $20 per cart.

More On the 4″ Numbers and Plates

The guiding principle behind the park seeking this change is that your numbers are able to be seen clearly from a distance. This means that if you have a rear seat, which you must have in order to have more than two people in a cart, then even when your rear seat is fully occupied your numbers must be clearly visible from a distance.

We know that not everyone will be able to place a plate on the roof (some of us don’t have roofs on our carts, me included). Many carts have rear seats with footrests (which is a possible requirement for safety in the future) and some of those have a grab bar on them (another possible requirement for safety in the future), so mounting a number plate in one of these locations is a possible option for you.

Golf cart inspection will again be handled by Tom (from the Advisory Group) and Shelly (one of our managers) this season.

They will evaluate what you have and/or discuss possible options with you. The goal here is to solve a problem and work with everyone to find a solution that works for you as well, rather than simply dictate a “One size fits all” policy.

Please remember why we are changing the golf cart rules in the first place. We are responding to multiple requests from campers, who have requested that golf carts be easier to identify. We are responding to you. Every year we field numerous complaints about people speeding on golf carts, going around speed bumps, driving on lawns to avoid speed bumps, etc. Almost without exception, when I ask for the cart’s numbers, the response is “I couldn’t see it.”

We need you to help us identify these people so we can solve the problem of people abusing their golf cart privileges. Don’t forget that we have a radar gun, with a speed readout display, that we let people use. It can help carts know they are speeding by indicating their speed, or it can be used to catch speeders. To date only one person has helped us by using it, although a second person has agreed to help this year. Let me know if you would like to give it a try. We want to solve the problem. You want us to solve the problem. We need your help to solve the problem.

New Stuff This Year?

Bringing a trailer into the park?
As a general rule trailers can only be brought into the park Monday through Thursday. We do not want a trailer being delivered on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays due to the congestion and numerous activities.

In addition, we must know when you are expecting a trailer to be delivered. You should fill out a “Lot Improvement” form in the office so we can mark the lot to make sure you are compliant with the 5 feet from the lot line, back & side lot lines rules, in accordance with all park and county rules. Fire code requires structures to be 10 feet apart to prevent fire from one structure from spreading to another, and therefore we must mark your lot before you bring a trailer in, even if you pulled it out for the off season and are just bringing it back.

We have several people who haven’t followed this guideline so far this year. A letter will be going out to those people, who will unfortunately have to move and reset their trailers. Failure to comply will result in a fine.

Buying a new trailer?
Spring is one of the times people think about buying new trailers. I would like to give you a few things to think about based on what I’m seeing with park models and lodges (as opposed to travel trailers or 5th wheels). Your unit should have an underbelly, which is a barrier on the bottom of your trailer designed to keep things from entering your trailer from beneath. These barriers can be plastic or metal. You should strongly consider getting metal. Raccoons can get through the plastic, and the average repair cost for this sort of invasion is typically more than $2,000. Your trailer generally will have plastic ductwork, as opposed to metal, and the animals will destroy it.

Another thing to consider is whether during the installation of the unit the dealer had to puncture the underbelly, to plumb for a holding tank or add wiring for a heating/cooling unit. We have seen situations where the unit had a metal underbelly but the dealer cut a hole in it and didn’t seal the hole up. Planning on putting a holding tank under your trailer? Because they are building taller units, road clearance can pose a problem. What some manufacturers are doing now is putting smaller diameter tires on the unit to make sure they don’t have clearance problems. The potential problem with this is that you may not be able to get a larger holding tank because it will no longer fit under your unit (as required).

Related to this is how the holding tank is plumbed. We have always recommended that the drain piping and gate valve be placed on the bottom of the tank, as opposed to having your tank pumped out from the top. If you pump out from the top you will need to put a 90 degree fitting on the top of the tank and that adds another 6-8 inches, or more, of necessary under the unit clearance. This is definitely a problem if your unit has the smaller wheels. Dealers appear to be ordering holding tanks from whoever is cheaper rather than what is best for you, so you might not want to buy your holding tank from the dealer you buy your unit from. We have also found that pumping out from the top of the tank doesn’t empty the tank as much as from the bottom side. Over time this build up of solids could result in an odor problem that will be hard to get rid of.

Deck rules
We mention this now as a lot of you are thinking about and/or building decks. We will be adding to our rules this year. The park must adhere to all state and county guidelines. All decks must be compliant with Wisconsin building codes: (SPS 321.04). Failure to comply will result in a fine.

They mostly involve rules for stairs and handrails. Guardrails must be installed on the entire deck if ANY part of the deck is more the 24 inches above grade, even if a screened-in porch is placed on deck. Guardrails must be at least 36 inches above the floor of the deck and made so as to prevent a 4-inch sphere from passing through. This also includes the space between the deck and bottom rail of guardrail. Stairs must be at least 36 inches wide with 8-inch or less risers and a minimum tread depth of 9 inches. Stair flights with more than 3 risers must have handrails on both sides and made so as to prevent a 4-inch sphere from passing through. The area formed by the tread, riser and bottom rail must prevent a 6-inch sphere from passing through. Handrails must be at least 30 inches but no more than 38 inches above the nose of the treads and must be able to withstand a 200 pound load applied in any direction.

Rope, cable or similar materials used in handrail or guardrail infill must be strung with maximum openings of 3 1/2 inches with vertical supports a maximum of 4 ft. apart.

Shed Rules
Have you noticed that some people are not following the shed rules, especially as regards size and color requirements? We have. Conversations have already taken place concerning making the necessary changes to what has been built in the past couple of years. We are requiring two people to remove their non-compliant sheds by Memorial Day. We will be sending out letters to others requiring them to bring their shed into compliance. Please note that ONLY 1 SHED is allowed on a lot. This is a County rule, which is why it is one of our rules. Failure to comply will result in a fine.

We will be making one change to the rules regarding sheds this year. We will now allow metal roofs, similar to what we have been putting on park buildings, as long as they are aesthetically pleasing (dark brown, of course).

Golf Cart Registration and New Rules

Golf Cart Registration will not start until May. 
All rules are in effect. Even if you can’t register your cart it still should be compliant with all park rules. It must have insurance, lot numbers, and a rules sticker on the steering wheel. All drivers must follow all driving rules.

New Golf Cart Rules.

We are still having difficulty identifying problem golf carts because it’s hard to read the numbers on a moving cart from a distance, especially the rear numbers because people are often blocking them. So, we will be making a few minor changes to the rules.
The new golf cart rules will require 4″ numbers, instead of the 3″ numbers currently required, on the front and rear of the cart.  In addition, we will require the rear numbers be attached to the roof of the cart (if you have a roof), as we have done with the park golf carts and the rental golf carts.
Since the season is nearly underway and most golf carts are already identified under the old rules, these new rules will not go into effect until next season.
Of course, we would love for people to do it this season. To encourage early adopters, we will give the usual $10 off golf cart registration coupon only to those whose change over to the new rules prior to registering their cart this year.
To help make this easier for you, we have two people, Jackie Ramey and Deb Furman, who can make these 4″ numbers and plates with the numbers for you.
You can contact Jackie by calling 262-496-5600, emailing her at Whatnots by Jackie, or stopping by Lot 143.
You can contact Deb by calling 608-295-2894 or by emailing her at Canddsgraphics.

Pump Outs Will Begin April 25

Pump Outs Will Begin
We will start doing pump outs next week. As with past practice, you must sign up by lodge closing time on Sunday, which is currently 3pm, to get a pump out during the following week.
Pump Out Guidelines 
Doing pump outs shouldn’t be a difficult or messy job, but in some cases, with some units, it has become a problem. In the past trailers were designed to be pulled up to a dump station, attached by a hose to the readily accessible outlet on the side of your unit, opened by pulling the gate valve, and dumped. Things have changed over the years. Newer trailers make use of larger holding tanks and more complicated plumbing, but the concept remains the same. Our person should be able to come up to your unit, hook up our pumper hose to the readily accessible outlet on the side of you trailer, pull the gate valve and pump you out. No muss, no fuss; just like you would want if you were the one doing it.
To ensure customer satisfaction, we are establishing the following guidelines for your reference:
  • Holding tanks which are added to trailers, as opposed to being part of the trailer, must be located underneath the trailer. In some cases, we have and would consider approving locating them underneath your deck.
  • Piping should come from your tank to an easily accessible point, readily accessible for us, on the side of your unit. There should be a gate valve installed within easy reach and a 4-prong hose adapter on the end that we can hook up to (just like what you would have hooked up your hose to dump in the old days). Readily accessible and within easy reach means there can’t be any obstructions blocking our access to the hookup. No locked compartments, no skirting that must be removed, no crawling around under the trailer, etc.; it’s just right there saying “please hookup here for easy access!” We realize that some of the newer units have hookups or pull valves in a compartment, and that’s fine as long as the compartment is unlocked and again we just open the compartment, hook up, and in some cases pull the valve.
  • If you have multiple valves, or multiple access points, please remind us of that when you register for your pump out. We are updating our list of units, tank sizes, and number of valves to make sure our personnel has all the information needed to help serve you.
We do have a list of 27 people whose units are not up to these standards, and we will be notifying these campers by letter. We will not pump these units out until the shortcomings have been corrected, or you have hired someone to do so and are just waiting for them. We have obtained a quote from Brad (Brad’s Mobile Service), who is available to do the work for you if you so choose. This information will be included in the letters being sent to those affected.

The Water is On — April 20, 2016

The Water Is On!!!
Although the camping season doesn’t officially begin until April 29, I’m happy to confirm that The Water is On!
Unfortunately, the wells haven’t been chlorinated yet, so we can’t say the water is drinkable. Because we are still testing the system, making sure there are no more leaks to fix, please disconnect your hoses when you leave this weekend.

Spring Cleaning Required Some Additional Spring Cleaning

 I’m sorry about the trash situation. Because of the number of people coming up so much earlier than usual, the dumpsters were at/over capacity sooner than in previous years.
To alleviate the situation, we called the company to begin the service earlier than usual. In fact, they were supposed to pick up everything last week. They didn’t show up. I’ve received a letter of apology, but it did leave us with a mess.
Fortunately, it has now been picked up and everything is back to normal. Below are the usual beginning of the year reminders about trash and landscape waste:
  • Trash. Please take your trash to one of the dumpsters.  Do not stack trash on top of the dumpster or on the side. If your “trash” will not fit in the dumpster then take it to another dumpster, do not pile it up next to the dumpster. Dumping or disposing of property improperly or where you are not supposed to (e.g. the storage area), or putting trash on the ground in the dumpster area instead of putting trash into dumpster and closing the lid, will result in an immediate $50 fine, no warnings.
  • Landscape Waste This may now be left in the ‘usual’ trailer, next to the gas pumps by the skate park. If the trailer is full, put your waste in a bag and leave it next to the trailer. Landscape waste may not be put in the trash dumpsters.  It is illegal and we are subject to the fines that could be imposed on our trash service if it is discovered when they are dumping at the landfill and they get fined. Putting landscape waste in the trash dumpsters will result in an immediate $50 fine, no warnings. We will also pay a $50 reward for identifying anyone who puts landscape waste in the trash dumpsters.

Park Rules are in effect at all times

All park rules are always in effect when you are here at the park. Golf cart driving rules, trash rules, one-way street rules,ALL THE RULES, ALL THE TIME.
 
I have to laugh when I have to remind someone of a rule infraction I just witnessed from them and I am given the standard reply of “Well, the park’s not open yet.”  
 
Well, yes the park is open, or you wouldn’t be here. Your being here is evidence that the park is open.