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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Report: Idaho should ‘dispose of the cottage sites’

Idaho should "dispose of the cottage sites in an orderly and expeditious manner," according to a report now being presented to the state Land Board. However, Lands Department staffer Kate Langford said first, the department is recommending opening a 90-day public comment period - starting this Thursday - and closing around March 24, 2011. "The purpose of that period obviously this is a huge endeavor that we're considering, has significant potential to impact the asset mix within the portfolio as well as many other ... issues, so we wanted to make sure that there was adequate time for obviously the Land Board and their staff members as well as the beneficiaries and the lessees to thoroughly review, vet their questions," she said.

A consultant hired to help develop the plan said the cottage sites currently are underperforming assets for the state endowment, and "a financially and emotionally invested buyer pool already exists" - the current lessees of the cottage sites. Options include a series of exchanges, where the cottage sites would be pooled together into twice-a-year land exchanges of at least $20 million value, with the lessees getting title to the cottage sites under their cabins in exchange for the state obtaining "institutional-grade real estate assets;" along with voluntary auctions in which the current lessees would receive a credit for the value of their improvements and be able to pay installment payments.

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.