The Chase Lions Club is displeased their management of the RV park on Mill Street, named after the service club, may be put to a request for proposals.
In a notice posted on a community forum, the club states they built the Chase Lions RV Park on land leased from the Village of Chase in 1999, and have operating it for the last 20 years.
“It not only serves as our primary source of funding, it also serves to bring in valuable tourism revenue to our local businesses. Almost all of our donations and projects are funded through the revenue of the RV Park,” the message from the club reads.
According to the club, the renewal of their lease for the Village land, which expires on Dec. 31, 2019, is not a foregone conclusion as it has seemed in the past. They have been told the lease of the riverfront property will be going to a request for proposals.
Village of Chase chief administrative officer Joni Heinrich said this is not the first time that subjecting management of the RV park to a request for proposals has been discussed by Chase’s council. She said hesitation has been caused in the past by the fact that the Lions had the sewer, water and electrical hookups installed when they first leased the site. According to Heinrich, discussion among the current council led to a desire to offer the fundraising opportunity available through the RV park to other community groups.
Heinrich said whoever is granted the new lease, it is expected the non-profit focus of the site will be maintained. She does not think council will entertain proposals that would turn the sites into a for-profit business.
The Lions are not happy with having to put together a proposal to maintain management of the site.
“They are biting the hand that feeds them. We think 53 years of service should automatically put us in the top position, don’t you?” the notice from the Lions Club reads.
“No other organization in Chase has contributed more to the growth, stability and needs of Chase more than the Lions Club. We should not be writing proposals to prove our worth.”
The statement from the club goes on to list the many projects and community initiatives which the Lions have assisted with money or volunteer time over the last 53 years. Among them are the building the curling rink, purchasing the community’s first ambulance in 1970 and newer initiatives such as the building of the Memorial Park spray park, for which they raised $355,000.
The club requested support from the public in hopes of pressuring the Village of Chase to not put the future of the land to a request for proposals.
On Sept. 10, Chase’s council voted to defer the matter to a future meeting.