The Crossett City Council voted Monday night to approve a request by the Port Authority to raise the rates at the RV park at the Crossett Port.
Dan Pevy represented the Port Authority Board at Monday night’s council meeting. He asked that the council approve a daily fee increase of one dollar at the RV park. Pevy said the rates haven’t been raised in five years and not only has inflation hurt the budget, but they’ve had a lot of natural or weather impacts that have caused unplanned costs as well. The increase would raise the fee to $23 a day.
“The county park over at Lake Village is less than ours, but they have half of their park they can’t use because of electrical issues,” Pevy said. He also noted that the last three times the Port Authority has approached the council for help, they were turned down.
Some of the council members expressed concerns about raising the rates $1 per day because they didn’t want to “outprice the venue.” Councilman Cary Carter said that the amenities were limited and there weren’t sewer hook up. Carter said other parks in the area have $37 per day full hook-ups.
“We don’t want to be a low end trailer park, and we don’t feel a dollar a day is going to stop anyone from coming to stay with us,” Pevy said.
Part of the motivation from the increase, aside from inflation, he said, was to weed out some of the people who don’t take care of their area. Campers who want to use the area recreationally are not looking to go to what has been turned into a low end residential area, he said.
“We don’t want to be the cheapest place in town for that very reason,” Pevy said
Park Manager Tim Caroway said that he has had to kick around three people out this month in an effort to clean up the park.
“Some we’ve had to ask to move because they just don’t care and we may go out there and there may be a vehicle up on blocks or they may have stuff scattered everywhere,” Pevy said.
Councilwoman Kerstin Mondragon said that she agreed the park needed to be cleaned up but didn’t think that raising the rates by one dollar would help that at all.
“We can’t say it’s only a dollar, it’s only a dollar and then also say well it’s a dollar so it’s a lot and will get those people out,” Mondragon said.
Carter said he appreciated the cleanup effort that was being done at the RV park, but he felt like better marketing could be used to generate revenue as well.
“It has been very under-marketed for years, and I think we could bring a lot of outside people in,” Carter said.
Councilman Chris Gill said that raising the rates for the first time in five years seemed justified considering overall inflation. Gill also said that by going up to $23 per day he didn’t feel like that was getting too close to those with full amenities.
Mondragon also brought up some complaints she said she had received. One was that there was only one dump station; another was the fact that the area had what she characterized as “horrible [electrical] breakers.” Pevy said the port authority had been working to address the breaker situation and had actually replaced and improved a majority of the breakers in the park.
As far as the dump station was concerned, Pevy acknowledged that the park was limited, but that he didn’t think it had been an issue that significantly affected park operations.
“I’ve stayed down there a lot and I’ve never seen a line at the dump station,” Carter said.
In other news:
-A concerned citizen appeared before the council to discuss a drainage problem that he didn’t feel like the city had responded to.
Public Works Director Jeff Harrison gave a brief summary of everything the city had done to remedy the problem, but did not have all of the information because he said he wasn’t prepared to address the issue.
-The council approved an ordinance for a residential property to be rezoned for commercial use.
Mayor Crystal Marshall said this was actually an issue from February 2020, but COVID-19 had hindered the process. A resident applied to put in a clinic in the area behind Sonic. The resident went through all of the processes last February to rezone and even had the mandatory public hearing.
Shortly after, with COVID restricting meetings and then late Mayor Scott McCormick’s death, the ordinance was never been officially adopted by the council and therefore needed to be officially read and adopted.
Marshall said the area in question is directly behind Sonic and that a concrete slab had already been poured on the area.
The council approved the ordinance.