NYSSA – An option on a sale agreement for land for a rail reload facility and industrial park could provide a local family a key piece of property next to the center.
The July 2018 sale agreement between Malheur County and onion executive Jim Farmer and his family covers 290 acres north of downtown. The county agreed to pay $3 million for the land, but the closing of the transaction has been delayed until early next year as county officials seek money to pay the price.
The option allows the Farmers first choice on five acres next to the rail reload center for a packing and processing facility in the county’s proposed industrial park. Farmer is president and co-owner of Fort Boise Produce of Parma.
An appraisal of the Farmer property mentioned that the Farmers were “retaining” five acres of the ground being sold to the county. County officials initially wouldn’t explain the circumstance of that arrangement, but Malheur County Counsel Stephanie Williams subsequently identified the option document that showed the terms.
Williams said that the Farmers adjusted the overall price of the land, reducing it by $50,000 as compensation for the five acres it could take.
A recent county appraisal valued the Farmer land at about $7,000 an acre, meaning the five-acre lot currently is valued at about $35,000.
The option also stipulates the Farmers must agree to “substantial and significant economic development of the land for purchasers packing/processing facility within five (5) years” after the reload center begins operation.
The option also requires the Farmers to pay the county $10,000 if that development doesn’t happen.
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