Local News

Trailer Trouble: The Tusayan Town Council Upset With Forest Service

March 27, 2017

The Forest Service is reconsidering its rejection of a ground lease application involving Tusayan employee housing.. That initial rejection is not sitting well with the Town of Tusayan. If the rejection stands, the Town will have spent more than $40 thousand for a trailer home it can't use.

For months, Tusayan negotiated with former Council Member Bob Blasi to buy his trailer home located on Forest Service land inside the Town limits. The plan was to get a lease extension from the Forest Service and use the trailer for additional employee housing.

In mid March the Town got word that that application was rejected because there is a moritorium on leases on homes that are occupied by non-Forest Service personnel.

Town leaders expressed frustration at the recent Town Council meeting. Town Manager Eric Duthie is exploring legal action. He says the Town Attorney has been notified and several former federal prosecutors have been consulted.

Mayor Craig Sanderson also said Arizona's congressional delegation will be consulted. Sanderson said, "It will be known in DC as well. The frustration is in my voice as well. It's real clear we can't do anything. We rely on the Forest Service, they're our neighbors, to help us out and they're stepping on us." 

Town Manager Eric Duthie added, " We are in my mind being singled out, being discriminated against for whatever reason it is, we are a target."

The Town remains hopeful the Forest Service will reconsider its decision.

 The Town and the Forest Service have been at odds before. In March of 2016, the Forest Service rejected an application to use and expand a Forest Service road to facilitate Stilo's controversial development project.