Eagle makes offer to buy part of sports park

The city wants to end a months-long dispute and avoid a legal battle.

cmsewell@idahostatesman.comDecember 28, 2013 

The Eagle City Council voted Thursday night to offer Ada County $4,000 an acre for 35 acres of the 267-acre Ada-Eagle Sports Complex and to cancel the lease on the remaining 232 acres.

"What it came down to is, do we want to spend the money on lawyers and delays or make a more-than-reasonable purchase offer and move forward?" said Council President Mary Defayette.

The city wants to purchase the 20 acres it has improved and an additional 15 acres with the mountain bike track.

"They can have the rest of the park back," Defayette said.

The city has a 99-year, no-cost lease with the county to manage and improve the park. When the city signed an agreement with Gateway Parks to put in a seasonal snow park on about 7 acres, the county balked - saying the snow-play park was not allowed under the lease agreement. The city and county have been embroiled in a dispute over the sports park for several months.

In October, the city and county agreed to discuss the possibility of the city purchasing some or all of the land. An independent appraisal of 100 of the park's 267 acres put its economic value at zero while the 99-year lease agreement remains in place. Without the lease, the land was estimated at $5,500 to $7,000 per acre.

The appraisal was for land only, not the improvements. The county in 1984 paid $327 an acre for the land, which is part of its landfill.

Defayette said Friday that since the city has made $1.7 million in improvements to the county-owned land, the city should get most of that amount as a credit toward the purchase.

The commissioners will review the offer next week and consider how to respond, Ada County spokesman Larry Maneely said Friday.

Cynthia Sewell: 377-6428, Twitter: @CynthiaSewell

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