Posted: Dec 28, 2012 5:42 PM by Marnee Banks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thirty trailer owners on Canyon Ferry Lake were just notified that they have four months before they need to pack up their belongings and find a new place to recreate.
Goose Bay Marina has been providing a home away from home for more than 30 years. Some people come and park their RVs for a week or two, while others have established lots with trailers that they have been vacationing on for years.
The federal Bureau of Reclamation owns the land and Jerry Reller leases it and operates the Marina. The trailer and RV owners pay the Marina lot rent.
Two years ago Broadwater County notified the Marina that its septic system violated county standards, largely due to the trailers which are permanently parked there.
After they were notified, the Rellers were given a two year extension to fix the issues. Now the Reller's lease with the Bureau it set to expire at the end of this year.
"The Bureau can't put out a new lease until it's rectified one way or the other, either another drain field or whatever is put in. They have been real crazy about what they will let us do," Reller says. "We aren't going to put out a bunch of money without some security."
The trailer owners have formed a homeowners association to try and come up with a solution. President Scott Joyner says they have the money to fix the septic system but the Bureau is unwilling to work with them.
In a letter dated December 21, 2012, the Bureau is demanding the trailers be removed by April.
It also states that Reller can continue to run the Marina through the summer if he pays for a temporary septic fix. But after that the Bureau has scheduled major upgrades to the property and the Rellers are essentially out of business.
Bureau spokesman Tyler Johnson says this isn't just about the septic but also about public access to federal land.
He says these trailers have been there for years and the land is essentially being used for an exclusive group of families, which is contrary to federal land policy.
The Bureau hopes these upgrades and changes will bring more people to the area and provide public access to public land.
Meanwhile the homeowners association is examining their legal options and trying to negotiate a deal so they can stay on the property.