Council rejects Kyllingstad's latest offer
Recent negotiations have once again proved fruitless between the Town of Camp Verde and Verde Café owner Steve Kyllingstad.
"Our council voted after executive session the other night to not accept Steve's latest offer," Town Manager Bill Lee confirmed.
Kyllinstad's property is the only property along Main Street that remains unimproved. As work continues to progress up and down Main Street with the addition of new curbs, sidewalks, lights, trees and planters as part of the Main Street Beautification project, a long gap of about 250 feet remains in front of Kyllingstad's property from Hollamon Street to the former Chicago Title Company property.
Kyllingstad owns the restaurant and a structure next door (Personal Touch Hair Design and Fashions and Artisans Guild Gallery).
The council rejected Kyllingstad's latest offer after Mayor Mitch Dickinson told him during a special session on May 26 that the council did not feel it was a fair offer and that the town had no counter offer.
Lee said that Kyllingstad wants the town to give him the property that the town now owns behind the café on Hollamon Street and, additionally, to purchase an easement for property in front of his restaurant at about $35 per square foot. Lee confirmed that the town would be responsible, at this late date, for installing improvements on Kyllingstad's property, such as sidewalks; and that it would no longer come out of the Main Street Beautification grant money.
According to Lee, Kyllingstad recently approached the council with his latest offer after a settlement could not be reached following two years of negotiations.
"They always make it seem as though the Verde Café owner is the bad guy," Kyllingstad responded. "I've always been willing to negotiate. The offer has always been there. The problem is they don't want to spend any money. They're not interested in purchasing a right of way.
"Originally, they came with an offer. They wanted to draw a line in front and take 1,700 square feet. They wanted to trade the Hollamon Street property for that. They wanted an easement for the remaining 4,000 square feet in front. I don't want to give them an easement. I want them to purchase it in fee," he went on to explain.
Kyllingstad disagrees that he approached the town this last time around. He said the Lee sent a representative over to open up negotiations once again. Kyllingstad also maintains that there have been several misrepresentations by town officials throughout the discussions. He says that the grant money the town should have spent on improvements in front of his property has since been spent elsewhere.
"It has been brought to my attention that they are over budget and could not make the improvements from the grant even if they were to purchase my land," he said.
Lee indicated that if Kyllingstad decides to pave his portion of the parking area in front of the café, the town would consider paving between his property and the street, assuming ADOT would allow it.
"We may have to wait until ADOT turns the property back to the town, however," Lee said.
Kyllingstad said this week that he will pave his parking lot and that will be the end of negotiations.