The first mention of Blue Water in Board Minutes was March 13, 2019, more than a year after the staff began working on the Grassdale sale. In April 2019, Blue Water representatives made a Power Point presentation to the Board which “included an overview of their company, the RV hospitality industry, RV park demographics and the park’s potential economic impact to the local area.”
In May 2019, a few members of the FDRPC Board took a tour of Massey’s Landing Campground in Millsboro, Delaware which was a Blue Water campground.
So, the initial FDRPC due diligence was a Blue Water PowerPoint and a Blue Water tour. There is no evidence that FDRPC consulted with anyone in the RV Campground industry except Blue Water.
During the Board Discussion of the Massey’s Landing Campground, the meeting minutes indicate that:
Mr. Garvin questioned whether the Massey’s Landing model translates to the Fort DuPont site as the fort site does not have a beach.
This is the only mention in Board minutes that Grassdale might not be a competitive location for an RV Campground.
The Massey’s Landing Campground is located on Rehoboth Bay with access to the Delaware beaches. In contrast, Delaware City, along with its huge refinery, is a more industrial area. In 2012, the Delaware River was named the 5th most polluted river in the United States. Even though the river has had some success with the cleanup of pollution, the Delaware River still does not meet the standard for swimmable or fishable conditions in the region.
This website lists the top ten RV Campgrounds in Delaware and all ten of them are in Sussex County near the beaches. There are no private RV Campgrounds in New Castle County.
Immediately after Secretary Garvin questions the viability of Grassdale as a Campgrounds, the Minutes report that the Board Member Laura Lee, Superintendent of White Clay Creek State Park, raised some important due diligence issues:
“Ms. Lee commented that she would like to see the business plan for the proposed campground, and also how the wetlands would be protected.”
This is the only mention of these issues in the public record. Based on a FOIA response, no RFP was issued in selecting Blue Water to develop the RV Campground. FDRPC sold 128 acres of State Park Land without getting a single competing bid.