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Appraisals move Dutch John a step closer to privatization

All federal property to be sold in Dutch John, Utah, has been appraised in anticipation the small government town will be privatized by October 2000, according to federal officials.

About 50 buildings, including houses, administrative offices, storage facilities and other structures are expected to be sold.Letters asking renters whether they intend to bid on the government-owned buildings they occupy will be mailed this month, according to Bureau of Reclamation Spokesman Mike Busic.

Some of the town's roughly 175 residents had said they felt that the range they had been quoted earlier for the homes -- between $61,000 to $75,000 -- was too high. Today, the residents rent the homes from the Bureau of Reclamation.

Tucked into the rugged Uinta Mountains, Dutch John has been home to government workers tending to the Flaming Gorge Dam since 1964.

Federal officials have said that privatizing the 150-acre town just south of the Wyoming border should improve recreational opportunities and services for visitors.