Not much of an “offer” . . .
We are in receipt of an email to Bruce Wallbaum from Jeff Kostelic from County Executive Joe Parisi’s office. As we understand it, our options are as follows:
–The campers can extend the current permit to March 17th provided they agree to the following conditions.:
–First, they must remove all of their equipment from Token Creek Park and leave on or prior to March 17th.
–Second, they cannot camp on any county owned parcel without a permit.
–Third, the county will not consider an extension of camping privileges on county owned property for the winter of 2013.
We understand that on March 17th:
The electricity will be turned off, portable toilets removed and transportation will be discontinued.
The campers will be required to leave on February 17th if they do not accept the offer to extend the current permit.
We don’t consider this not much of a choice, since there is no legal place to go. The current group camping at Token Creek will take the extension to March 17th with three requests and two concerns.
First, we ask that you provide trucks to return belongings to the City of Madison. As you know, there were 4 trucks and a trailer used to forcibly move people to Token Creek and we do not have the resources to provide this kind of transportation back to the City of Madison.
Second, we ask that you take weather into consideration and if there is extreme weather on and/or just prior to the move date that you provide us a bit of latitude.
Third, we ask that if things are still frozen or muddy or otherwise difficult to clean at camp, that we be allowed to return to clean up additional items that may not be able to be removed. We would like to leave the camp in good condition.
First, it is our understanding that on or before March 10, up to 157 additional men will be unsheltered and on the streets due to their having stayed their maximum allotted days (60, generally) in a Porchlight shelter. These additional people will be vulnerable and we have grave concerns about what will quite possibly happen in the weeks between our permit expiration date, March 17, and when the campgrounds open (April 16).
Second, an additional concern is that Occupy Madison has had over 100 people camp with them since leaving 800 E. Washington Ave in May of 2012. This group does not feel it is empowered to make any promises on behalf of others who may be seeking a camping permit at Token Creek next winter. Hopefully, none of the current people at Token Creek will need to stay there next year, but others may, and it is unfair to commit, in their absence and on their behalf that they cannot ask for a permit next winter.
There were 13 people at camp who approved this response.
So, folks will be at Token Creek for an additional month. To me, that is a nightmare. Because they are isolated, trapped and frustrated. But, they have no other options and it is better than camping without electricity (heat), fire (heat and cooking) and portapottys. And its not my choice.
If you want to help out, it sounds like they need the following things:
Something (sand/cat litter) to put on the ice in slippy areas)
Water (for drinking and washing dishes)
Wood for another month.
If you have things for camp – best to just drive out there – weekend are better because more people are around. Daytime during the week the bus leaves around 9:30 and comes back around 4:30, so before or after then is best.
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