Castle Dale City Reconsiders Lease with LDS Church for City Park

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The future of the Castle Dale City Park located at 55 E 100 N was recently in a precarious state.  The city, which decided not to renew the lease on the property with the LDS Church in April, has since reconsidered. The lease is being rewritten and the park will remain for citizens of the city to use.

Castle Dale City has leased the property that the park is on from the Church since 1984, at the rate of $10 per year.

In May 2015, Castle Dale City Mayor Danny Van Wagoner wrote the LDS Church a letter requesting that the church pay for materials for a new metal roof on the pavilion at the park.

“We are planning for a metal roof, light stone in color with cocoa brown trim,” the letter stated. “The cost for the material will be $5200. Will the LDS Church pay for the materials? Or for part of the materials?”

In response to Mayor Van Wagoner’s request, the Church stated that it would not be able to cover the cost of materials for the roof.

“Paragraph 1d in the lease renewal specifies that the city is solely responsible for repairing and maintaining the improvements,” Yvonne Doolhoff, real estate analyst for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said. “I am fairly certain that this was one of the reasons the Church charged the low $10.00/year lease fee.”

The response from the Church also states that in fact, a metal roof could not be used because according to the lease, “repairs need to be the same or better condition as they existed.”  The letter from the Church also expresses concern that playground equipment had been installed on the property without proper approval.

“Lastly, the end of the paragraph mentions that no improvements shall be constructed on the premises without lessor’s prior written approval,” the letter concluded.

After receiving this response from the Church, Mayor Van Wagoner sent a letter on April 13 notifying the Church that the city was formally submitting its 90-day notice to not renew the lease.

“We are no longer in a position to continue to lease the park,” he said. “We no longer have the need for it, and the maintenance and man hours used to maintain it can be better used elsewhere in our tight budget.”

The mayor also stated that if the Church wanted the playground equipment moved off the property, the city would do so before turning the park back over to the Church.

Some citizens expressed concern and wondered what was happening with the park because the water had been turned off and the grass was dying.

In recent weeks, the city and the Church have been able to come to an agreement that is beneficial for all. The lease will be re-written. The Church has agreed to pay for both labor and materials to re-roof the pavilion and the playground equipment will also remain. Castle Dale City will continue to provide maintenance for the property.

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