Hoback RV Park

Hunter Weber, a 7-year resident of the Hoback RV Park, and his puppy, Arrow, take out the trash Sunday afternoon at the Hoback Junction RV community. Many residents were notified last week that they would be evicted by the end of the calendar year.

Residents of the Hoback RV Park are willing to pay to pump the on-site septic tank to extend their stay through the winter.

Tenants there received notice in mid-November that they would need to leave the property by the end of the year because the failing septic system needs to be replaced.

Owners are putting in a new, smaller system that doesn’t accommodate the 20 or so long-term residents who live on the property in RVs.

The property owners negotiated a temporary placement solution at the Virginian RV Park last week. Many residents say moving in December and again in the spring is too costly, and they would rather stay at the Hoback RV Park through May and move to permanent spaces they hope to find between now and then.

On Nov. 19 they got notices to leave the premises by Dec. 31.

“Before this date tenants were not given any prior notice or understanding that the park would close in the middle of winter,” resident Inanna Reistad wrote on the community’s GoFundMe page.

Residents said owner Crowley Capital gave verbal confirmation last year that all leases would be extended through May 2021.

“Many of the residents have lived at the park for over 15 years and do not have a means to move the trailers, and many of the trailers do not have the capacity to be moved,” Reistad wrote. “Given the current temperatures and the lack of communication by the owners, moving at this time is impossible.”

Reistad said the neighbors at the Hoback RV Park got quotes from Macy’s Services to see how much it would cost to pump the septic tank every other day to buy them a few months at the park without contributing to the failing system.

On Monday, Reistad wrote the property owners an email, proposing the solution.

“If tenants were able to collect money to pump the septic tank regularly would you consider extending the eviction date?” she asked. “It is currently -5 degrees out.”

Someone using the Gmail account HobackRVPark wrote back, “That’s one of many options we’ve explored.”

Dwight Reppa, with Macy’s Services, replied with quotes of how much it would cost to pump the septic tank daily and every other day.

Reistad replied to the property owners, “Those numbers seem pretty manageable to me in lieu of kicking elderly, disabled and at-risk folks out in the middle of winter and in the middle of a pandemic.”

Crowley Capital manager Justin Martin had not replied to Reistad as of press time and did not return emails or calls from the Jackson Hole Daily, inquiring to see if pumping the septic is a solution he is considering.

The Hoback RV Park, which sits on a 2.1-acre lot, changed hands in 2019, when Crowley Capital purchased the property that has been used as a campground and RV park dating to the 1950s.

Teton County Environmental Permitting Engineer Ted Van Holland said he hasn’t received an application from Crowley regarding a temporary holding tank at the location, which is something he would have to sign off on.

“It would need to be proposed by the owners, and I would review whatever they propose,” he said. “Our regulations do allow for use of a holding tank where it would be a nondischarging system.”

Van Holland did, however, receive an application Tuesday from Crowley and current majority owner MV Farms I LLC to amend their current permit to enlarge the new system they’re installing. He said the application is to allow 5 RV sites to connect to the new system.

That application is still in the review process.

“I do want to emphasize my regret that residents are suffering from this enforcement, and wish more was under my control to overcome that aspect,” Van Holland said.

Van Holland said he has been receiving calls ever since news broke about the situation in Hoback.

“Elected officials and members of the public want to understand what’s going on,” he said. “This whole situation is uncommon.”

An online petition started by Reistad has nearly 1,300 signatures. The residents also started a GoFundMe account with a goal of at least $20,000. As of press time it had raised $2,400.

This story has been updated to correct Ted Van Holland's title, which is environmental permitting engineer with the Teton County Engineering Department, not Teton County Engineer. -Eds

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or courts@jhnewsandguide.com.

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and emergency news. She also leads the News&Guide’s investigative efforts. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

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