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Council Approves Land Purchase

Article Date: 
22 July, 2011 (All day)

 

In a surprise move, Member Ned Mecham brought the issue of the purchase of land adjacent to the fair grounds back to the county council agenda.  Mecham has been a consistent proponent of the purchase of the land, but had been unable to muster the votes necessary to pass the purchase at a price the school board would approve.  

The school board purchased land adjacent to the fair grounds for the construction of a new bus garage.  They will shortly begin construction.  The school board approached the council at the end of 2010 about 1.3 acres of the land they had purchased that would not be needed for the bus garage.  This land has been used, in the past, for parking during events at the fair grounds.   There was about to be a change in the council with those newly elected taking office so the decision was deferred into 2011.  

The new council debated the issue several times and made an offer of $59,800 to the school board stipulating that the council would not pay for the survey costs or the fencing of the property.  The school board rejected the offer.  The issue then came before the council twice more.  Each time the council deadlocked on the issue and no decision was reached.  

Member Mecham told the council that Ken Adams had approached him indicating that a community member had come forward to help offset the difference between what the county was willing to pay and what the school district was willing to accept.  Member Mecham expressed the view that the county should purchase this land while they had the opportunity since there was no other land available to expand the fair grounds.  Chairman Kelley gave her opinion that the money could be better spent on other needs and that the narrow strip of land would not be that beneficial to the fair grounds.  The council approved the purchase at a price of $50,000 with the county paying for half of the survey costs.  The vote was 5-2 with Member Nelson and Chairman Kelley opposed to the purchase.  The school board will now need to approve the offer from the county in their next meeting before the purchase will be final.