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VACATION OR EXCHANGE 12-20-16 LMS
The Salmon City Council spent over an hour of its December 20 meeting discussing a proposal to vacate a portion of Copper Street which only exists on paper and for the city to accept an equivalent portion of land from the Strickland Estate.
The parties involved in the proposed transaction would be the City of Salmon, Ralph and Cindy Frazee and Dale McAtee acting as the Strickland Estate executor. The street vacation or property exchange involves the platted but never used portion of Copper Street located between Bryan Avenue and Courthouse Drive. The city has been negotiating with the property owners since last July.
In October Steve Frazee explained some of the logistics in a written proposal to the city which read: “The end of Courthouse Drive intersects with Cleveland Avenue. Immediately below that intersection Courthouse Drive right-of-way narrows to 15 feet in width.
“Over time, the Cleveland Road/Courthouse Drive junction has widened to the south encroaching on the Strickland Estate property and in fact city utility lines have been laid through the private property.” Frazee said the Strickland Estate is willing to sell, trade or transfer enough of their property into city ownership to allow for widening the 15 foot street width to 24 feet. It was reported that the goal of the family is to clear up the estate however it will not budge on a street any wider than 24 feet because a tree of great sentimental value would have to be removed.
At the December 20 meeting Attorney Fred Snook confirmed that by state statute the city is empowered to vacate Copper Street if it is deemed expedient for public good. He said if a decision is made to vacate there will be no issue as to the value of the platted property and no damages as a result of the vacation since it was never used.
Snook said if the city decides to call the transaction an “exchange” the city does have the general authority to manage the land in ways it deems to be in the public interest. And, if it is to be an exchange property, value has to be established since the exchange would have to be for equal value. The city would also have to hold a public hearing.
Some council members favored the transaction as being beneficial to the city and some didn’t. All agreed more details are needed.
The agenda issue before the council was a request from Frazee for the council to allow him to proceed with the negotiations. Council President Jim Baker made a motion to table any decision and give Frazee permission to proceed with negotiations. The motion passed unanimously.
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