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Garrison experiencing growing pains

5/06/10 (Thu)

Garrison experiencing growing pains
By STU MERRY

Growth is good. But sometimes the wheels of progress turn slowly. Just tell that to those who were in attendance at Monday’s meeting of the Garrison City Council.
Council chambers was full to capacity with contractors, business owners, developers and economic development officials – all wanting to discuss their projects.
Jeff Gerhart, who announced this past week that he would be opening a new RV business in Garrison called Sakakawea RV, plans to start bringing in units later this week. He plans to purchase an additional 3-plus acres to establish an RV park in the area adjacent to the business . The business will be located south of N. D. Highway 37 and east of the USDA office. Gerhart also requested water and sewer be provided to the area, saying he would like to tie in with city utilities. Following lengthy discussion, city officials recommended Gerhart meet with the Utilities Committee to get the ball rolling.
Hearing what Gerhart has planned, Garrison Mayor Dave Reinarts said, “It’s a good project.”
But another hurdle needs to be cleared for the RV park project to progress – it’s the matter of being properly zoned.
Gerhart asked how the process could be expedited. Standard procedure requires two hearings and an appearance before the Planning and Zoning Commission. That takes time. But time is money, and with other RV sites reportedly being booked throughout the summer, Gerhart would like to start offering spots as early as possible – the sooner the better.
Reinarts questioned the feasibility of another RV park, reasoning it could be infringing on other areas – including the city’s trailer park, which offers RV rentals.
But Alderman Steve Hasenwinkel countered, “Why would you turn a business away.”
Gerhart assured that he is not in competition with the city or any other RV location.
“I’m not here to compete – but to work in conjunction with the others … that ‘s what this is all about …,” Gerhart said.