Hard feelings over the University of Idaho’s decision to dump its Clark Fork Field Campus without consulting the community first bubbled over into a bill this week.
But when Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, joined Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, and Rep. John Campbell, R-Sandpoint, to propose the legislation at the House State Affairs Committee, the feelings had been smoothed over. Eskridge thanked the university’s Marty Peterson, who was in the room, for helping work out the fix. It turns out that as a land-grant university, UI isn’t under the same rules for property disposal as other state agencies. But, Eskridge said, “I’ve worked with the university. They have acknowledged that the process in Clark Fork could’ve been a little bit better.”
The university agreed to new requirements for public meetings and other steps that mimic state property procedures, including offering the property first to other state agencies before putting it up for sale, and the lawmakers wrote them into the bill.