State to auction 38 lots near Priest Lake

By The Associated Press | Posted - Aug. 24, 2015 at 1:01 p.m.



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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Idaho is putting up 38 Priest Lake lots for auction amid a push to remove the state from the business of leasing the land to cabin owners.

Proceeds from renting lakefront land had gone toward an education endowment, but disagreements over fair market value and getting a maximum return for the schools prompted the sales, the Spokesman Review reported (http://bit.ly/1MOLdCw).

A process once marked by lawsuits, state lands department director Tom Schultz says the program is highly successful.

"We hope to have a robust auction, and we hope to have a lot of satisfied customers and we hope to make a lot of money for the school trust up there," Schultz said.

Cabin owners volunteered to have an opportunity to buy the land, and a lottery set the order for auctions over several years.

Three auctions have been set for the 38 properties, with one in September involving nine unleased properties. Most structure owners secured permits to keep cabins on the land when they couldn't keep up with rising lease payments, and have found buyers to bid on the land.

"This is an opportunity for those folks that were struggling, to allow them to exit gracefully and recoup some of their value," Schultz said.

The 126 lots that have already been sold at Priest and Payette lakes generated over $52 million for the endowment fund that mostly goes toward supporting schools.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

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The Associated Press

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