New RV Camp Will Bring a New Population and Change to Sleepy Hillsboro
We have all heard about –and are in the beginning stages of seeing- changes to Pocahontas County because of the infusion of a new population of pipeline workers immigrating here from other areas, as well as massive equipment riding up and down our roads. It is too early to know the long term or even the short term effects these changes will have on our communities, and whether these changes will be good or bad for County residents. There certainly will be winners and losers. This is the first in a long series of stories about these evolving changes which we will follow over time during the pipeline construction. We will be watching as these changes gradually happen and trying to figure out what they will mean to the community.
The first few stories will center on the small and usually quiet Town of Hillsboro in Southern Pocahontas County. Although the pipeline and the construction sites don’t even come close to Hillsboro, all you have to do is ride along US 219 through the town and you will see a newly constructed RV Campground sitting along highway 219 in the very center of Town. As yet, it still sits empty but that will surely change as new pipeline workers bring their RV’s into the County and look for campsites from where they can commute to their job sites. Donald Rose, a prominent member of the Hillsboro community, and owner of Rose’s Excavation owns and built the new RV Park. We hope to talk with Don in a later story to get his perspective on the campground and its effect on Hillsboro. In future stories we will talk with other business owners in the town and some local residents, but in this first story we talked with Hillsboro Mayor Ann Walker to get her perspective about this. Eventually we will take a hard look at pipeline construction changes to other communities in Pocahontas County. Feel free to email this reporter at Tim@amrmail.org if you feel your community is experiencing welcome or unwelcome changes due to the pipeline construction or its workers and would like us to consider highlighting your situations.
We asked Mayor Walker about the RV camp in town, how big is it and its effect on the Town’s water and sewer systems.
“There are 25 sites” said Mayor Walker. “I don’t know the dimensions of the campsites, but it was reduced from 30 to accommodate Slide-outs and canopy’s. The Department of Health and Human Resources has a requirement that these has to be so much space between the canopies and the pull-outs on the campers”
Mayor Walker said that Don rose did let the Town Government know about his plans and checked to ensure he met all the town’s sewer and water restrictions. She said there are no restrictions and the sewer system is well within its capacity limits even adding the new RV hookups. Walker said the system was designed to accommodate 500 households and currently there are only 140 households hooked up to it. She is not anticipating any increase or reductions to the sewer or water fees to any existing customers because of the new RV hook-ups. She said that Rose’s Excavation is the local contractor the Town uses to maintain its sewer and water systems, so he already is familiar with the town’s utilities. I asked the Mayor if she feels there will be a social or financial impact to the Town with the introduction of so many new residents.
“We have no way of knowing at this point the caliber of person that is coming” said Mayor Walker. “I have been told by several (people) that a lot of the pipeliners are very accountable to their employer. The Council has been given assurances that if there are issues socially with the pipeliners, the (pipeline) company is going to deal with that.”
Mayor Walker says the Town population is much divided over this issue, and some of the town businesses are looking forward to increased business from the new residents, while others are fearful of and oppose the change. Mayor Walker said she is very neutral and taking a wait and see attitude, but there are no town ordinances that could stop this from happening anyway. We will be talking with residents and business owners in the next installments of this story as well as following up on it as these changes happen.