County OKs Topaz Lake payment system |

County OKs Topaz Lake payment system

Staff Reports

After years of problems tracking payments from visitors to Douglas County’s Topaz Lake Park, the county decided to hire a robot to do the work.

The new pay system actually resembles a reverse automatic teller machine that will let users pay to camp, launch a boat or just enjoy the day using a credit card instead of the honor system, that has been less than effective over the years.

Starting in January, park users will have to use the credit card machine to make a payment, unless they’ve paid over the phone or stopped off at the Parks Division on their way down.

The payment kiosk would be at the Park Ranger’s office.

Community Services Director Scott Morgan said that on weekends a ranger has worked the entrance booth at the park, but that for the rest of the week, it has been up to users of the park to fill out an envelope and pay their fee.

Douglas County commissioners approved the proposal on Thursday along with the Parks and Recreation Programs and Facilities Manual.

Of the 260-acre Topaz Lake campground, 220 acres are leased by the county from the Walker River Irrigation District. The lease is set to expire on June 20, 2024.

The campground is open Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, and most of its staffing occurs from the Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends.

The park has 41 camping spots, 15 of which have connections and 26 dry camps that can be reserved by phone.

While occasionally there is sufficient staff members to open the honor box and check to see who’s paid, most of the time that’s not the case.

The issues with the park were the subject of a grand jury report.

Morgan said this initiative will deal with most of those complaints.