Last week Lincoln City City Manager David Hawker announced the city’s successful purchase of what is called the last remaining buildable land within the city limits – The Villages of Cascade Head. Hawker said that the city’s purchase of the property from a private developer, who went financially belly up due to the recession, will assure that EVENTUAL private development of the property will move ahead and benefit the citizens of Lincoln City, but over a longer period of time.
Sale price, $2.5 million for 363 acres of exquisite property which comes with nearly a mile of completed streets, concrete trails and water and sewer mains – development ready.
However, city councilors had to first make sure that their $2.5 million would be the winning bid, which, as it turned out, was the winning bid. And Monday night they completed their end of the transaction by reaching down into city coffers and coming up with the actual money – from the city’s open space fund, the affordable housing fund and the city’s overall big operating fund, a.k.a. the “general fund.” Both the open space fund and the affordable housing funds were zeroed out. And they still had to borrow over a million more from the general fund to get to the full $2.5 million. Their budget altering decision is expected to be made final at the council’s next meeting, June 24th.
Some of the reimbursements from the purchase of the Villages at Cascade Head is expected from enhanced tax revenues through the annexation of Roads End effective July 1st. However, legal challenges may delay a final decision on that by the courts. However, city officials maintain the city should prevail in the end. There is also the expected income through land sales and subsequent taxes levied on lots sold at the Villages at Cascade Head and real property that is built on them, both residential and commercial.
To those who contend that government ought to run more like a business, well here it is in full bloom. In fact it’s likely to be a private to public transaction that could very well get written into college text books dealing with municipal planning and finance, at least in Oregon.