Ada County Commission approves sale of 34 acres of sports complex

January 7, 2014 

The Ada County Commission voted 2-1 on Tuesday morning to approve the sale of 34 acres of the Ada-Eagle Sports Complex to the city of Eagle, potentially bringing an end to a dispute between the two governments over how the facility can be used.

Eagle has a 99-year, no-cost lease with the county for use of the 267-acre complex. As part of the agreement, Eagle is responsible for managing and maintaining the facility.

Last year, the city signed an agreement with Gateway Parks to put in a seasonal snow park on about 7 acres of the sports complex. Ada County objected to the deal, contending a snow park isn't allowed under the lease agreement. The dispute lasted several months, and in October the two sides agreed to discuss the potential sale of some of the land to the city.

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. Eagle Council President Mary Defayette previously said that because 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.

At the end of December, the Eagle City Council voted to offer Ada County $4,000 an acre for 35 acres of the sports complex, and to cancel the lease on the remaining acreage. The 35 acres includes the land the city has improved and 15 acres that house a mountain bike track.

Ada County Commission's vote Tuesday was to sell the land for $4,000 an acre. Commissioners Rick Yzaguirre and Jim Tibbs voted in support of selling the property; Commissioner Dave Case voted against it.

Eagle Mayor Jim Reynolds said after the vote that he will talk to the City Council about reconsidering its decision to cancel the lease on the park's remaining acreage.

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