Council members asked to OK ‘concept’ at Monday evening committee meeting

    Things have apparently progressed enough in the city's pursuit of an RV park to be located in Castle Park that members of the Crookston City Council, at a Ways & Means Committee meeting Monday evening, will be asked to "approve the general concept" of the amenity in the park so that staff can keep moving ahead on the initiative.   

    CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth has been leading negotiations on a potential RV park for some time, but a commitment to a specific site hasn't been included in public discussions on the subject. Castle Park has always made the most sense as a location, however, since the city for years has been looking to relocate its primary campground from flood-prone Central Park and Castle Park has always been targeted as the location for a new campground. The city has even tried, without success so far, to land a large state grant to help fund just such a campground in Castle Park.   

    In a memo for Monday evening's meeting, City Administrator Shannon Stassen states that a private developer wants to put a 50 to 60-unit RV park in Castle Park. The developer owns and operates a similar, "professionally run" and successful park in Hillsboro, N.D.   

    The RV park would serve multiple purposes, Stassen indicates. During the summer it can boost tourism in the community and, thus, economic development. In addition, during the sugar beet harvest season, American Crystal Sugar employs many temporary workers, and some of them would be looking for a place to set up a camper while they're working here. Current campground facilities in Central Park are "inadequate to support this professional traveling workforce," Stassen states in the memo.   

    As part of a deal, the city would sell or convey around three acres of land to the developer, who would have to meet time requirements and other potential covenants in making the RV park a reality. Infrastructure and operational costs would be the responsibility of the developer. Since it would be a privately run business, the city would not need to provide park ranger services or other maintenance.   

    The sale of 2.5 acres of land from another party would result in a five to six-acre RV park.   

    Castle Park is currently zoned "institutional," so Stassen doesn't think any zoning changes will be necessary. The land will need to be surveyed and platted, and the Planning Commission would need to OK the plan before it would go to the council.   

    Anticipating questions and/or concerns from nearby residents, Stassen said a Ward 1 meeting is being planned for Monday, April 21, and other "input meetings" will be scheduled as needed to get feedback and input.