Jeff Schwartz has leased property adjacent to his Delicious Orchards for three years as camping sites. The property is owned by the Town of Paonia so he attended the Oct. 9 council meeting to request another lease.
The property covers about one-half acre. Individuals, couples, families and small groups use the camping area. Schwartz said he had 140 people camp during the Mountain Harvest Festival. For the first two years of operation he charged $5 a night. He now charges $10 a night. Insurance costs him $2,000 a year.
Schwartz views the camping sites as providing a service to the Paonia community.
The town approved a new five-year lease at $25 a year.
Paonia resident Richard Schmidt objected, wanting Schwartz to pay $5,000 to cover legal and monitoring fees over the past three years.
Town staff disputed that the town had incurred expenses anywhere near that amount. No monitoring costs exist and drawing up the original lease papers was not expensive either. For the new lease, the town clerk will make the minor changes to the contract and attorney help will not be needed.
Previously, Schwartz was not charged any rental fee for the property in exchange for improvements to the property.blog comments powered by Disqus