Freegard Property Pivotal To Future Of Star Valley

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We still remember the night in March when the Freegard property in Star Valley was rezoned for commercial development to make way for the Windmill Village development.

Mayor Chuck Heron called it a "banner night" for Star Valley.

On that night, Windmill Village held so much promise. It was going to include a post office, Star Valley's town hall, retail shops and a hotel. It was going to be a centerpiece for Star Valley. It was going to take Star Valley from simply being an incorporated town, to looking like one.

Weeks later, that feeling has soured.

The Windmill developers, Acuvest, LLC, it seems, pegged all their hopes on one tenant -- the Town Hall -- and when the Town of Star Valley could not promise the $1.5 million developers were asking before its budget planning was complete, the plug was pulled.

Acuvest, LLC said the Star Valley Town Council changed course without ample warning and, in turn, the council said it never made any promises.

Whatever the problem, it appears communication failed.

Since then, the Star Valley Town Council voted to rent a building in the Star Vale Mobile Home Park for the next couple of years as its Town Hall, allowing the council to move out of its current, temporary location in the Baptist church on Highway 260.

We were disappointed to hear about the end of the Windmill Village development. It is a shame that such a promising project fell apart, it appears from the outside, because of miscommunication.

If the project cannot be salvaged, we believe it is in Star Valley's best interests to pursue the development of this property in a similar way.

Right now, the 15.3-acre Freegard property sits as an empty field -- rezoned and ready for someone who has a vision.

The Freegard property is truly at the visual center of Star Valley and could provide the town with focus -- physically and economically.

Creating a retail and social center on the Freegard property could be a major step toward ensuring the tax base needed for the survival of Star Valley as an incorporated town.

Because of its location, this property is pivotal for Star Valley. Whatever development goes there will set the tone for the future of the area.

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