One step closer to Person deal

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COEUR d'ALENE - A deal between the local school district and the city of Coeur d'Alene that will ensure that two recreational open spaces remain public property is a step closer to being finalized.

Coeur d'Alene school board members on Monday unanimously approved a motion calling for the school district to transfer the two properties it owns - Bryan Field and half of Person Field - to the city in exchange for $750,000.

The five-member board also approved a resolution detailing the land transaction, after board chair Tom Hamilton read the two-page resolution into the public record.

"I do believe it was important (to read the document) because the code does require, for us to consider adjusting the value, we have to be on record saying that it is in the best interest of the district," Hamilton said.

"And it is," said Trustee Ann Seddon.

The Idaho code regulating the disposal of property owned by school districts requires that the land cannot be sold for less than its appraised value unless the transaction is deemed by the board to be in the best interest of the district.

The Coeur d'Alene trustees took it a step further and stated in the resolution that preservation of the recreational spaces is an interest shared by both agencies.

The combined, independently appraised value of the two properties is $964,000.

The property valuations were both completed by Coeur d'Alene appraiser Edwin Muehlbach.

The deal between the two government agencies was agreed to in January, after months of negotiations, with the city agreeing to pay between $655,000 and up to $750,000 for both properties. Each of the properties is zoned R12, meaning they could be developed into multi-unit properties if they were sold through a sealed bid process to a private buyer.

The transaction hinged on the school district's receipt of an appraisal of the Bryan Field property, a 2-acre park at the intersection of Harrison Avenue and 10th Street. The district administration received a $309,000 appraisal on Bryan Field last week.

The trustees already had a $655,000 appraisal on the district's 3.8-acre portion of the 7-acre Person Field. The city owns the other half of the field located along 15th Street.

The trustees instructed the district administration and legal counsel to draft the papers required to convey the property to the city, and send them out.

Coeur d'Alene city staffers and attorneys will likely review the documents and then they will go before the City Council for approval.

The school district is disposing of the park properties so it can fund the acquisition of a new district office building located on Northwood Center Court, near the intersection of Northwest Boulevard and Ironwood Drive.

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