Wenatchee City Council Approves Purchase For Second RV Park For Homeless
The City of Wenatchee is moving forward to purchase land which has already been cleared out and groomed by construction workers to be an RV park for homeless people.
The City Council has approved formal negotiations with the property owner to purchase the land, which was previously occupied by a trucking company.
Mayor Frank Kuntz says the project has moved forward quickly after discussions with the owner.
"Once we had the hand shake with Jimmy and Paula LLC, I think two days later we were out rolling gravel, had it fenced," said Kuntz.
The city is expecting 17 RV's to move into the space Friday.
The lot is located on Ohme Garden Road off of Highway 97A.
Kuntz says the purchase should be completed without a hitch, although he hasn't disclosed how much the city is paying for the property.
"It is subject to an appraisal, so we'll get an appraisal to make sure the numbers we're talking about are reasonable," Kuntz. "I did talk with the finance committee it. I think there's a bit more comfort level in terms of the price that we're talking about."
The sale actually calls for the city to lease half the property – the portion already being used as a safe park – for $3,000 per month before purchasing the whole parcel of land. It then calls for the city to lease back to the present owner the portion that it still occupies as a trucking company for a period of 18 to 24 months.
Creation of the RV lots comes after the city banned RV's from being parked on the streets about a week ago.
The property on Olme Gardens Road is the second of two planned safe park the city is providing.
The first one opened in late September at 1450 South Wenatchee Avenue next to the Wenatchee Rescue Mission.
It was realized after the approval of a $1.5 million contract with the Wenatchee Rescue Mission which is to include a second “Safe Park,” along with a 45-unit low-barrier shelter and an outreach program.
The city is paying the rescue mission roughly $500,000 annually to manage the park and its residents.
Low Barrier Housing is described by the British Columbia based Mental Health and Substance Abuse organization HeretoHelp as housing where a minimum number of expectations are placed on people who wish to live there.
Separately at the City Council’s Thursday meeting, councilors approved a change in the city code to allow for the "safe parks" and the low barrier shelter.