2012-07-26 / Letters to the Editor

Easy solution is to cut RV sites, increase rent

This is regarding the endless Fort Getty decision-making saga. It seems to have been going on forever, and we are still on square one. I am a professional real-estate appraiser. I can give you the solution to this mess in one paragraph. Here is how to do it:

Cut the 105 campsites to 50. Charge them $10,000 per year instead of the $3,700 they currently pay, then bump up the rent 5 percent per year, forever. Instead of the $388,500 we currently gross, we will gross $500,000, plus a 5-percent increase each year. Reduce the size of the land they are currently using to 30 percent of what they currently use. Enforce some rules where they can have nothing stored outside of their unit other than a table and some chairs.

The reality is that the town can easily find 50 well-off campers to pay $10,000 per year. We are currently renting those spots at way below what the market can bear. Why are we in essence subsidizing these campers to use our best land at the best and most valuable time of the year?

The current $3,700 rent is woefully underpriced for what is essentially a waterfront summer home. This proposal is a win-win for the town. In terms of the “legacy” campers who act like they own their spot, let them come up with $10,000 per year – they can stay. If they don’t like it, they can drive their RV back to Pawtucket. We owe them nothing. See, it is not that hard to solve this issue. Let’s use common sense. There, that was simple.

James Thompson North Main Road Jamestown

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