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RV park still the plan on old highway
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 00:00

A proposed RV park in Camp Verde is still moving forward after the Camp Verde Town Council allowed the developer an extension to get necessary preliminary work done.

Rio Ringo is a proposed park on about 50 acres off of Old Highway 279 and State Route 260, the brainchild of local developer Dugan McDonald.

The plan is for the eventual creation of a park with about 100 spaces for recreational vehicles and 100 spaces for park model units, along with a visitor center, a convenience store and an eventual nearby commercial shopping area, where the developer envisions a steak house and other shops. The park will also host a shuttle to drive guests to Cliff Castle Casino.

The project is broken up over four planned phases, with an original estimated final completion date in 2017.
McDonald entered into a development agreement with the town in 2008, with a plan to complete the initial grading of the site within two years.

It’s an extensive job. With the hilly landscape of the site a problem, the land needs more than 800,000 cubic yards of earth moved in order to make it suitable for large vehicles to get around.

According to Camp Verde Public Works Director Ron Long, most of the grading activity started to pick up in the last three months. Long estimates at the current rate, the work could be completed by next September.

McDonald also needs the extra time to get all of his permits and paperwork in order with the town, said Mike Jenkins, Camp Verde’s acting community development director.

McDonald has also had to put up a $30,000 bond to cover the costs of fixing the land if for some reason the project were to fall through.

Councilwoman Carol German expressed her reservations that the amount might be too low.

“It doesn’t seem sufficient to me,” German said. “We’re just concerned because we’ve been stuck before.”

McDonald said the $30,000 figure was an estimate given to him by reputable contracting companies, and while he put the money up, he thought it was a bit of an excessive measure for work on his own property.

“I know that there are issues with our development agreement,” McDonald told the council. “But it’s nothing we can’t work out. They are all kind of small items.”

Councilwoman Norma Garrison, who was one of two current members on the council when the agreement was signed, said the project was a “beautiful concept.”

“I just want to know if it’s really going to happen,” Garrison said.

McDonald assured Garrison the project was proceeding, despite the recent economic downturn.

“There are already monies obligated toward the project,” McDonald said. “I’m happy with the progress we’ve made .... It’s a project to be proud of.”

According to documents submitted by McDonald, phase two of the project, which will follow the grading and excavation, will see construction of the welcome center and at least half of the spaces in the park.

Phase three will bring completion of the park “in total,” scheduled for around 2015.

Phase four will focus on development of the retail shopping area and is tentatively slated for a 2017 completion date.


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