St. Maries City Council members approved moving forward with the RV park grant last week.

The city plans to form a board comprised of councilmen who will be in charge of overlooking the project. Alex Barta with Timber Plus said that the next step is for the city's new board to find a piece of property.

“The way it will have to go, since council is on board, is to take a few people from city council to form a group that will go and contact land owners and negotiate purchase price,” Mr. Barta said. “I need a signed purchased and sale agreement from city and land owner, contingent on the RV park grant coming through, then I can take the next steps with the grant.”

He said that the idea is to apply for the RV park grant and use the funds provided through the grant to purchase water-front property. Mr. Barta estimates that the project will take between two and three years to complete.

Mr. Barta said that Idaho Parks and Recreation supplies grants for multiple facilities and that the RV grant is underutilized. He wants to take advantage of that opportunity for the project, which in return will save the city money, all while providing the city of St. Maries a new revenue stream.

He said that he would also like to see a marina built by the RV park, and mentioned that a grant to build docks could be obtained through the waterways improvement fund, who previously supplied the grants for the new docks at Aqua Park and Cherry Bend Boaters Park.

“Could you imagine being able to tow your boat to your RV space and be able to park it in the water,” Mr. Barta said. “Whatever price and piece of land they agree on, it wont cost the city that much. That's what the grant is for.”

He said that part of his job would be to also solicit support from local businesses and community groups. He said that having as much people as possible back the project would most likely influence Idaho Parks and Recreation to fund the project.

“Parks and Recreation wants to make sure if they fund something that its going to happen,” Mr. Barta said. “We have already been successful with our grants through Parks and Recreation through the waterway fund. We just want to show them that we are serious.”

Mr. Barta broke down the potential timeline of the project if funded. He said that during the first year that the goal was to purchase the land and begin engineering. He said during year two of the project is when he thinks would be a good time to apply for the waterway funding for the docks. He hopes that if that is funded, to complete the docks and the park simultaneously in year two and three.

City councilmen Ed Spooner said that he will discuss with Mr. Barta the details of the project and grant application process in the next few weeks. He said that he will also be in touch with Mayor Tom Carver on the details of the project as they move forward and sort out details.

“I'll be meeting with Alex soon to discuss the grant and straighten a few things out,” Mr. Spooner said. “He is doing a good job.”

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