RV Park needs more public input, some say | VailDaily.com

RV Park needs more public input, some say

Tamara Miller

As far as Woody Woodruff is concerned, supporters of a recreational park in Minturn are trying to bulldoze the issue past the public.

He is angry at Mayor Earl Bidez’s last-minute plans to schedule a presentation on the proposed RV park. The informational item was not on the published agenda and Woodruff did not attend the meeting. “I think what they did (Wednesday) was a political move, rather than a council move,” he said.

The town has copies of the presentation on display at the Town Center, 302 Pine St. and a tape recording of the meeting is available to the public.

Still, Woodruff, a part-time Minturn resident and registered Minturn voter, believes there are certain council members who are trying to hurry the project along despite citizens’ concerns.

Bidez said he asked the architect to come to the meeting to clear up any questions and misconceptions residents have on the project. The developer – Rocky Mountain RV Resorts – has been reluctant to go public with the preliminary plans. But the council was able to convince the company Wednesday afternoon to try to put something together that night.

“I spent all afternoon calling everybody I could on both sides of the issue to let them know about the presentation,” Bidez said. “This has become such a major hot button issue for this election, we felt at the least the town should hear both sides.

“It’s still a very preliminary thing,” he added. ” I don’t know if I support it… but this is an attempt to at least let people know what it was.”

But Woodruff questions the timing – less than a week before Tuesday’s town council election.

“It seems like a greasy political move,” he said.

Bidez and Hawkeye Flaherty, Minturn’s former mayor, are vying for the mayor seat. Incumbents Jerry Bumgarner, Ron Spohrer, and newcomers Tom Sullivan, George Brodin and Randy Milhoan are competing for three seats on the council.

Sullivan, a vocal critic of the RV park, believes the council is required to hold a public election on the issue. He cites certain sections of the town charter that state that the sale of property used for public park purposes must be approved by the majority of voters.

He and Woodruff hired an attorney to draft a letter stating just that. That letter was delivered to the council on March 3. Bidez and others on the council disagreed, noting that the land will be leased to the developer, not sold.

Allowing a vote on the issue could set a bad precedent, Bidez said.

“Minturn has never ever had a vote on an issue unless it was required by law,” he said. “How do you define what is demanded for an election? They could bring town government to a halt.”

The RV park would have to big of an impact on the community to not put it to a public vote, Woodruff said.

“It’s too big of thing to not let the public decide,” he said.

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