Riverbend Park Management Concerns

January 17, 2007 - Posted at 10:00 p.m. CST

HARDY-In December the Riverbend Recreational Park in Hardy was closed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Since then property owners have been working to correct violations. But their biggest fix may be exactly who will manage the park.

[super=52-austin depriest/riverbend property owners association; :08-13]

As the Spring months approach, those owning property at the Riverbend Recreational Vehicle Park are hoping for the best.

"To be able to open the park this year, it will have to be opened under the property owners association management," said Austin Depriest of the Property Owners Association.

That group is made up of more than 400 property owners, who have been working to get the park up to standards after it was closed down in December of 2006.

"We are right now working with the e-p-a closely to correct violations that are in there and to get thier approval to open it. Without their approval we don't open it," said Depriest.

But previous park management said in a letter that it would reopen in Spring of 2007 under thier guidance.

A statement that didn't set too well with the property owners association.

"We were kind of shocked because that is in violation of a court order, and it explicitly says he is not to manage the park," said Depriest.

Much of the controversy is surrounding a letter sent out in December of 2006 by former park manager, Clifton Johnson, stating that he would like to continue running the park in 2007. However, a court order dated in November of 2006 says otherwise, and states that property assessments must must be paid to the property owners association as the managers of the park.

"The amount of money that comes into that park off of membership assessments, should be plenty of money to maintain that park in a better condition than what it is," said Depriest.

It was the park's maintenance and up keep that led to that court order to relinquish authority from the Biggers Bluff Corporation to begin with.

And as far as the property owners association is concerned, they are doing everything they can to get the park back to being a place of enjoyment.

"We will survive. We will come back. We will have a nice park there," said Depriest.

We are told once the E.P.A. gives approval, the property owners association will then go in and begin the massive cleanup effort from last September's flooding.

K8 news tried to reach members of the former managment company, Biggers Bluff, but their number had been disconnected.

Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.