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Eye On Boise

22 state-owned Payette Lake cabin sites to go to auction Nov. 13

The Idaho Department of Lands has set its next auction of state-owned lake cabin sites for Nov. 13 at Boise State University, where the state will auction off 22 lots at Payette Lake, 18 of them currently leased and four unleased. Since 2011, the state endowment has auctioned off about 37 percent of the original 523 cottage sites it had on Payette and Priest lakes, for $72 million; the total is $1.2 million more than the appraised value of the lots, thanks to competitive bidding on a handful of the parcels.

The last auction, for nine unleased lots at Priest Lake, drew competitive bidding on just two of the lots, while one lot went unsold. One of the two, which drew three bidders, sold for $256,000 above the appraised value. “It’s a secluded lot, got a nice, sandy beach bordered by rock outcrops on either side,” Bob Bramer, chief operations officer for the state Department of Lands, told the Land Board this morning. “Interestingly, there’s no road access in to it - it’s boat access only.”

There’s more info here on the cottage site program. In 2010, the state Land Board, which consists of the state’s top elected officials and is chaired by the governor, voted to move gradually out of the cabin-site rental business, after years of fights and lawsuits over what constituted fair-market rent for land on which renters had built and owned family cabins.  By the end of 2017, the state expects to have divested itself of two-thirds of its lake cabin sites.

As part of the plan to ensure better returns from the state endowment for its beneficiaries, the largest of which is the state’s public schools, the Endowment Fund Investment Board voted earlier this month to invest $150 million over the next year in two U.S. commercial real estate investment funds. That will give the cash portion of the endowment an investment mix of 66 percent equities, 26 percent fixed income, and 8 percent U.S. commercial real estate, as recommended by consultants. The endowment also includes land, much of it managed for timber harvesting.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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