October 31, 2001 11:00 pm

By T.L. Petersen

Observer Staff Writer

ELGIN After more than half a dozen years of dreaming and planning, Elgin City Administrator Joe Garlitz is now ready to say, all the money is sitting there.

The funds, raised locally and gathered from grants, will build the 45-site Hun-a-ha RV and camping park beside the Grande Ronde River in Elgin next year.

The final decision came at the end of August with word that a $250,000 grant from Oregon State Parks had been approved for the city-owned park.

The state money was approved Aug. 24 after it was matched with a grant from the Rural Investment Fund and with private contributions collected in recent years.

While the state money was approved while the weather was still warm, Garlitz said the decision was made to wait until spring to begin construction at the park.

Then, he said, be ready. There will be plenty to do for anyone willing to pitch in on the project.

So far there has only been some foundation work done, involving leveling and filling in a rock base, Garlitz said. No roads have been built yet.

Im hoping to have it completed by the end of next August, Garlitz said. The change will be amazing.

In a gentle curve of the river, north of Cedar Street, the park will have roads, 45 RV spots complete with water, sewer and electrical hook-ups, a shower room with six individual three-quarter baths, restrooms, a utility room with washing machines and a dryer, a pavilion, a tent-camping area, a playground and a parking area near the river where rafts can be launched.

It will be a busy summer of construction, Garlitz said.

There isnt anything to do until the roads are in, he added, but then there will be plenty of landscaping and cleanup to do before the park is ready for travelers.

Garlitz this winter is planning to line up the construction companies that will be needed for the project, he said.

Garlitz also will be planning for marketing the campground and setting camping fees.

We havent looked at that seriously yet, he said.