What will Star Valley do with a gutted three-story piecemealed home, a barn, a well and five acres?
The town council isn’t quite sure, but figures the $200,000 bankruptcy sale was too good a deal to pass up. At Tuesday’s meeting, the council agreed to push any decision on using the land to November when the first quarter budget numbers are in and the town has completed master plans for the water system and streets. Those plans could influence how much money the town has to fix up the property.
Until then, the home, at 3615 E. Highway 260 (just west of town hall), will sit boarded up and empty, with “NO TRESPASSING” signs warning off curious residents.
One resident, Ray Lyons, half jokingly suggested Tuesday the council hold meetings in the barn, with wood logs used for seating.
Kidding aside, the council agreed buying the home was a sound decision, given property like it doesn’t come around too often.
Possibilities include retrofitting it for a new, larger town hall (with ample parking) and using the barn for storage of water department supplies. Councilors said they had other ideas too, but would wait to share them when the council nailed down the budget.
Currently, the town is working on master plans for the newly acquired water system and the area’s streets. How much each of those projects will cost could influence how much money the town has to fix up the home.
Early estimates already indicate the town will need to spend $95,000 a year to maintain the roads over the next five years.
If the town can’t use the property now, councilors said there is the possibility of renting it to Glen McCombs, Plant Fair Nursery owner, who has reportedly expressed an interest.
McCombs told Councilor Vern Leis that the well on the property was one of the best in the area.
Robert Rippy, water department operator, said he couldn’t find any information on the well and didn’t know what its output was or if it was even usable.
Almost immediately after buying the property May 3, the town put insurance on it and had Rippy put up signs and a gate securing it.
“Securing it was paramount,” said Leis.
The home had reportedly belonged to one family for some time. When the owner passed, the family took on the property, but ran into financial difficulties, Rippy said.
Before the auction, someone gutted the home, taking the ceiling, plumbing and even the white rocks out front that spelled “SV.”
The home, which has numerous additions, is usable in its current state, Rippy said.
The council agreed that it needed the plans in hand before it made any decision on the home.
Councilor Gary Coon said there was no reason to rush into doing something.
New Mayor Ronnie McDaniel agreed, saying while the property needs a lot of work, it is a good deal for the town.