Parking, water, a town park and even room for a police station: the prospects of buying a neighboring RV park and revamping it for town use left the Star Valley town council giddy with the possibilities Tuesday night.
While the council did not make any decisions, it said it would hold a work-study to delve into the possibility of purchasing the Lazy D Ranch Apartments and RV Resort, which borders town hall on two sides.
“This is exciting stuff,” said Mayor Bill Rappaport.
Doug daCosta, owner of the park, said adding the park to the current town facilities would not only give the town room to grow, but also give it a water source.
daCosta sold Star Valley its town hall a year ago for $235,500. The 1,850-square-foot space gave the town a place to go after it fled from a rental across the street. But the two-story building is cramped, with council meetings just fitting in the front foyer. Limited parking also means if more than a dozen residents wanted to attend a council meeting, they would have to park elsewhere.
The two-acre RV park behind town hall has plenty of access, fronts Highway 260, comes with three billboards and already has several buildings on site.
In addition, the site has a well — a good well, daCosta said.
Since the town incorporated in 2005, councilors have dreamed of getting their hands on a water source. Doing so would make the town a “water purveyor” and therefore eligible for an allocation of Blue Ridge water.
But that is all down the road. For now, the main concern remains how much the RV park will cost.
daCosta, who bought the property in 1995, refused to disclose the price, but said a conservative appraiser had done a fair assessment. Town Manager/Attorney Tim Grier said when he looked at the price last year it was high.
“I don’t think the price is something Star Valley residents would embrace,” Grier said.
The property and the business have a lot of value and it is in one of the prettiest locations in town, daCosta said.
“I don’t want to put any pressure on the town, but I believe the property will sell fast when it does go up for sale,” daCosta said.
Currently, the park brings in roughly $100,000 in revenue a year, said daCosta. The billboards bring in another $18,000.
daCosta does not have immediate plans to sell the property, but he is looking at listing it within a year. daCosta promised Grier that if he does sell, he would give the town first right of refusal.
If the town buys the property, but does not have immediate plans for its use, daCosta suggested leasing it out. Rappaport said with so many options to consider, the council would need to meet at least once in work-study.
“Doug was wonderful to work with when we purchased this property and I look forward to working with him on this,” Grier said.