Put the bolt cutters away: Star Valley has gotten its stuff back from a storage facility after a bizarre check-cashing fiasco.
The town had threatened to file an injunction Friday against Star Valley Storage owner Beverly Ward after she padlocked two rented storage units and cancelled the town’s access code.
But thanks to a last-minute payment, the town got its stuff back Wednesday.
Ward said she was just trying to collect July’s rent.
But Star Valley says someone cashed the $248 check they mailed her — although Ward said it wasn’t her.
Turns out, whoever took the check to a check-cashing location in Payson didn’t sign the back of the check or provide identification.
Ward has the bank statements to prove the money never entered her bank accounts.
Meanwhile, the town has proof the check cleared its account on June 28.
As the banks explored the issue, the dispute reached a boiling point.
The town cancelled its lease agreement and made plans to move its stuff out by Sept. 1 after Ward locked both units. Town Attorney Tim Grier threatened to sue Ward if she did not provide access to the stored public records.
Ward said Star Valley Storage “has done nothing unlawful, but rather is simply trying to run a business and receive payment for services rendered.”
On Tuesday, the bank told the town it would credit Star Valley for the funds. So the town wrote a second check, plus $70 in disputed late fees and removed everything from the units.
Grier says the town will “deal with other legal issues afterwards.”
Ward commented, “I lose the business even though I didn’t do anything wrong. The way the town is treating its business owners leaves something to be desired.”
Town officials said they’re still considering legal action after learning that Ward had inspected the contents of the storage unit before padlocking it.
Grier said the units contained confidential records.
Ward countered that according to the lease agreement the town signed, Ward had the right to auction off the contents of the units after 30 days non-payment.
“It is the Town of Star Valley who is not complying with the contract,” Ward said.