Copper Wire Theft Damage at Camp Concord Could Cost $80,000 to Repair

February 21, 2013 8:41 am · 21 comments

As we reported earlier this month, the City of Concord discovered a large amount of copper wire missing from Camp Concord in South Lake Tahoe in January. The theft of the copper wire occurred during the winter months, when the camp is closed.

The Concord City Council is set to declare a “State of Emergency” at Camp Concord, in order to get the repairs done before camp opens in a few weeks.

The city has received approval from El Dorado County to: 1) place a dedicated building inspector at the site to expeditiously certify the repair work meets Building Code requirements, and 2) use non-copper material that will still meet code requirements for replacement in damaged areas.

The damaged areas include:

  • Lower Camp Bathhouse
  • Maintenance Staff cabin
  • Nurses’ cabin
  • Staff Office
  • Dining Hall Kitchen and restrooms
  • Camp Counselor Staff housing cabins.

Because of these accommodations, Concord city staff believes it is possible that the total repair and administrative costs to approve the repair may be accomplished at a level even less than $80,000.

Staff proposes to fund the Camp Concord repairs with the $25,000 allocated at Mid-Year and supplement that amount with the project savings of $65,000 that are available from the Mid-year allocation for “Pedestrian and Bike Path Copper Theft Repairs”, a project that came in somewhat under the projected budget, according to the City of Concord.

No suspects have been identified or arrested for the theft at Camp Concord.

Contra Costa Taxpayer February 21, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Owning a Sierra summer camp is not a true purpose of government. Concord should sell Camp Concord and distribute the proceeds to its residents.

Though I guess this is not the time to be “counting pennies”.

Horse'n Around February 21, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Really!? How sad is this! I remember growing up in Concord and looking forward to summer days that were spent there at Camp Concord. It’s really sad that times have changed. Parents no longer think about having their kids going off to a camp and learning archery, singing songs etc. The only thing most parents think about during the summer is what video game I can buy that will keep them quiet while I go to work. Most parents would be surprised about how excited and happy their kids would be if they went camping, fishing something besides staying home and watching t.v. or playing a video game.

CatWoman February 21, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Sounds like a good idea. Copper is a better conductor–but my gues is they will use the low illuminous lights as are being used around the bay area now.

Befuddled By Math? February 21, 2013 at 9:31 AM

The estimate is “under $80k” so they’re approving $25k + $65k supplemental to fund the work. If I use my calculator, thats $90k in potential funding for a project that they estimate will cost under $80k.

Did I miss the Political Math class offered in school?? They obviously use a different addition process than the 4th grade math I was taught in school!

And we wonder why our government is running huge deficits and the budget is never balanced!

The Mamba February 21, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Burn the camp to the ground and claim the insurance.

ConcordMike February 21, 2013 at 10:26 AM

More importantly, how to avoid the thefts for the future? Alarms and remote cameras which can alert El Dorado County Sheriff. I guess cities can’t purchase insurance for this kinda stuff, eh?

Señor Smog February 21, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Bummer. Sad to see this kind of thing. Can make you feel cynical at times.

Triple Canopy February 21, 2013 at 10:29 AM


What is the true purpose of government?

Bent February 21, 2013 at 10:36 AM


Smokey February 21, 2013 at 10:57 AM

ConcordMike – That’s why the copper wire will be replaced with non-copper wire.

#1 – One of the purpose of government is to improve the lives of its citizens. I think Camp Concord does a good job of this. I’d much rather have the camp than the $5 that would be distributed to me from the sale of the camp.

Daisy Mom February 21, 2013 at 11:15 AM


We can’t rely on cameras and the El Dorado County Sheriff… we need to have 2-3 members of the Concord Police department stationed there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Ricardoh February 21, 2013 at 11:20 AM

The solution is easy. You need a permit to recycle copper. If a recycler takes non permit copper he goes to jail for about a year.

jtkatec February 21, 2013 at 11:22 AM

They’ll be back next winter to get some more copper wiring.

Anonymous February 21, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Recycling copper should be illegal. People who have it should be allowed to donate it to a charity

J. February 21, 2013 at 11:40 AM

The thieves at Camp Concord stole a lot of copper pipe too.

I wonder if that repair has been scheduled yet?

The Closer February 21, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Pay me a salary and I’ll gladly be a caretaker. At $25,000 a year it would be cheaper than paying to replace it every year. 🙂

Don't Censor Me Bro February 21, 2013 at 12:00 PM

ObLAMEr says Bush did it!

SecurityCameras February 21, 2013 at 3:47 PM

They should invest in security cameras while they are at it. So disgusting.

BagsFlyFree February 21, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Sounds like Camp Concord got a little more rustic. Copy whatever Camp Mather (SF’s camp near yosemite) is doing to protect its micro grid. A few festivals a year might bring some bucks in to pay for security or better protected wiring..

BFF Out!

gman February 21, 2013 at 9:11 PM

More than likely the only thing being replaced with non copper stuff is the plumbing. They can use Pex tubing instead, but as far as wiring goes that will probably still be copper it is not very easy to find non copper wire in the sizes that would be used for wiring the circuits needed in these buildings.

Babs February 21, 2013 at 9:22 PM

This issue burns my butt. What a waste of taxplayer money to make a few people happy. City keeps pouring money into a property it doesn’t even own, when we have a library that is a mess. Go ahead and fix it so thieves can hit it again. At the very least make the camp users pay for full coverage of all costs of camp and not the taxpayer…..too small of a bang for the buck.

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