BOISE – Idaho will auction off three undeveloped cabin sites on Priest Lake in North Idaho this year, partly to get a sense of land values on the lake as the state moves toward divesting itself of numerous state-owned lots there.
The state Land Board approved the auction plan Tuesday; the auction will take place in late August or early September. The three contiguous, waterfront lots will be marketed nationwide.
“Although historically there have been 354 cottage sites associated with Priest Lake, an additional 17 have been platted and are unleased and undeveloped at this time,” the Lands Department’s manager of commercial and residential real estate told the board. “We believe a sale auction would help determine the market value for vacant and unimproved lots,” said the manager, Thomas Felter. The Land Board consists of the state’s top elected officials.
The state had planned to allow some voluntary auctions of existing cabin sites this year, but the need to reappraise all the sites has slowed that process. Felter said none of the existing Priest Lake cabin sites will be ready for voluntary auctions before 2014.
Most of the state’s cabin sites are developed, with residences where some tenants have lived for years. The state had earlier said that some tenants might receive competing bids for their cabin sites, in which case the winning bidder would be required to pay the tenant for improvements to the lot.
Proceeds from sales of state endowment lands go into the state’s permanent endowment fund; its earnings benefit public schools and other state institutions.