Tonto Basin Sees New Kiwanis Club Building And Rv Park

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In 2006 the Kiwanis Club of Tonto Basin purchased its own building in order to better provide for the community.

The club had been looking for a building for about seven years and finally decided to buy one on Old Highway 188, near the post office, rather than lease one, said Mary Loges, Kiwanis Club president.

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With a new community meeting place open at the Kiwanis building and another spot for visitors to Tonto Basin to stay, the next big thing will be a new gas station and market.

"Most Kiwanis Clubs don't own their buildings," Loges said. "It's a big step, but our community needed it."

The Kiwanis, who moved into the new building in May, needed a larger area to provide everything that they wanted to provide for the community, Loges said.

The club operates a thrift store from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, but the building serves as a community center throughout the week, as needed, she said.

Loges said the Kiwanis Club is especially concerned with providing a positive place for children to hang out.

"There's nothing for them to do down here," she said. "Basically this new building is a community youth center."

The larger building hosts several activities each week including bingo on at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays and movie showings twice weekly.

Gila County Supervisor Joe Sanchez also holds community meetings at the Kiwanis Club building on the first Monday of every month to keep in touch with local residents.

"This building is much better," Loges said. "It turned out real well and we're pleased."

A new recreational vehicle park was also opened in 2006.

The Picture Mountain RV Park, located on Old Highway 188 and Park Way, was opened in November 2005 and is a year-round RV park, co-owner Brian Jennings said.

Jennings said that the park experienced an increase in rentals as 2006 progressed, culminating in 75 of 95 lots being used near the end of 2006.

Tonto Basin can also expect the new grocery store and gas station to open soon.

The building designed to be a grocery store, on Old Highway 188, about a half-mile from the post office, was constructed almost five years ago and sat vacant for years before finally being leased in 2006, Loges said.

Dennis Pirch, owner of the Tackle Box, said that the gas station is being installed and should be open by the end of March.

"The economic development in Tonto Basin is increasing," he said.

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