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Discussions continued about a proposed RV park in the city limits of Hardin at the monthly Hardin City Council on Monday.
Hardin resident Jason Raasch is trying to get city approval to build a 10-unit, two-acre RV park in the East Main and 8th Street area of town.
Raasch anticipates construction railers, pipeline workers on the trans-Canada oil line in 2009, and future construction workers on a potential Norborne power plant as his main RV users. Some residents and Alderman Randy Estenbaum are concerned about increased traffic and a work hard, play hard crowd – or worse – from the proposed park.
“You have no idea who you’re going to rent to. It could be a meth lab,” Estenbaum told Raasch.
Resident Cindy Baugher spoke on her behalf and nine other townspeople opposing the park.
“I just don’t see it, especially in that part of town with little kids. Who knows what’s gonna come in here?” she said. Baugher asked and was granted more time to get more signatures against the RV park for November’s meeting.
Raasch contends that well-paid union workers, who he is targeting, would not cause trouble in town. He also believes that workers will “spend it where they make it,” bringing more business to the Grapevine Restaurant and the DX, as examples.
“I guarantee it is going to bring in money and jobs into town. I have the business owners who want this,” Raasch said.
Carrollton, Higginsville and Henrietta were brought up as towns that have RV parks for temporary workers, but all are outside of their city limits. Carroll County Presiding Commissioner Nelson Heil said that Carrollton’s RV park has encountered only one fight in the park, and those two workers were fired immediately during the construction of the natural gas pipeline last year.
“They make good money and one of the rules is no monkey business. Any rowdiness and they would be out of a job. They were well behaved and a lot of these guys travel with their families,” Heil said.
Mayor Bob McCorkendale asked Raasch to consider moving the park outside of city limits, as it is with other communities. Raasch said that Ray County doesn’t want anymore, but Ray County Presiding Commissioner Jeff Adams pointed to county zoning regulations that stipulate RV parks in the county must have a minimum of 10 acres and be located at least one-quarter of a mile from any residential zoned area.
Another point of contention is a Hardin city ordinance directing the use and operation of sewage and water. The ordinance states that each residence must have separate services for sewer and water, and therefore, each of the 10 units would be considered a separate residence and would be required to have separate meters and lines. A rural county RV park, by contrast, is required to have a county health department approved sewage disposal dumping system.
“Ten units, 10 meters and 10 sewer lines. I have no problem with sticking to the ordinance,” said Alderman Colin Chang.
The mayor and board of aldermen also instructed Raasch to bring a detailed plan to scale to the next meeting.
“I haven’t seen any approval from KCP&L. Bring in the plan and show us hard evidence, hard proof and detail, which you will go by. This is so vague,” said Alderman Aaron Summers.
In other business:
• Public Works Director Larry Eastley gave a report on water loss for the city. Eastley tracked a three-month period, which showed over one million gallons of city water – or 27 percent – was loss, due to old lines, meters and valves. Eastley estimated the cost at $325 to $375 per thousand gallons, which didn’t include public works salaries. The city is talking with Rural Water District No. 2 in purchasing water because their water system needs major updates and purchasing water may be a cheaper alternative. The Board of Aldermen agreed to notify DNR about their deliberations.
• The Board of Aldermen are considering a purchase of a new salt spreader for the street department. Cost of the equipment is approximately $850.