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National Park Service Interested in Camp Amache (Corrected)

Granada-Water-Tower

Granada Trustees are pondering the variables they expect to encounter with the recent interest from the National Park Service to turn Camp Amache into a National Park Site. The former internment camp held approximately 7,500 Japanese-Americans shortly after World War Two, is listed as a National Historic Landmark.  Originally a 10,000 acre span, very little remains today of the original camp.  Preservation efforts by local high school students under the direction of teacher, John Hopper, have helped to maintain some artifacts from that period. A small museum depicting life at Camp Amache during the war is on display on Highway 50 in Granada.  The Trustees were first approached by NPS representatives with the idea during their meeting in April.

The Trustees discussed the idea with Jerene DeBono during their monthly meeting, May 11th.  While the Trustees felt that the change could mean a higher level of interest for visitors with the NPS, they have some concerns about how the alteration would impact the community.  This includes the community’s landfill, municipal water wells, the End of the Line Arena which is located on the property and what steps would be taken to approve the transaction and how would that decision and transfer would be made.  The Trustees decided to hold work sessions to formulate a list of questions of their own for Park Service representatives and set a time when discussions with the NPS would be held.  DeBono stated that most of the preservation has been under the direction of Hopper who would not necessarily want to continue to do his work on Camp Amache years into the future.

In other action, Ken Shafer volunteered to assist Connie Medina with the distribution of monthly commodities from the county each month. Groceries are loaded in Lamar and transported one day a month for local distribution to Granada residents.  The Trustees approved Ordinance 2016-002 regarding mobile homes in the community.  $150 donations to three sports teams in the recreation department were approved.  So long as the efforts of Raul Sanchez, putting two trailers together on his property conforms to the mobile home ordinance, the Trustees granted permission for the project.  June 1st was selected as the date SECED can use the town complex to host an educational meeting on how the economic development organization can assist small business owners and residents.  The town will look into the cost of fitting brighter LED lights outside the complex at the request of the senior citizens who said they would help finance the alteration.

(Editor’s Note & Correction:  The National Park Service has not made a purchase offer for Camp Amache at this point.  Their interest in contacting the Granada Trustees was to explore the possibility of turning the location into a National Park Site.  We regret any inconvenience which may have come from the original article.)

By Russ Baldwin

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