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Intergovernmental Water Board may sell land to Tigard for park

The city wants to purchase part of the Canterbury site for a neighborhood park

TIGARD - The Intergovernmental Water Board on Monday declared part of its Canterbury property on Little Bull Mountain as surplus and gave the city the right of first refusal to purchase the site for a park.

The 5-acre property, which includes a city reservoir, is located at the intersection of Canterbury Lane and 103rd Avenue, and about half of the site would be available for sale.

The IWB would reserve a 50-foot-by-50-foot easement for future water-system use in the southeast corner of the property plus a conservation easement for the use and maintenance of the John Tigard House Museum.

In the resolution approved unanimously by the Board of Commissioners, the city will be able to conduct an independent appraisal and title search of the portion of the property that is offered for sale.

The resolution further adds, 'The property shall be offered for sale at its fair market value as determined by the appraisal or by any commercially reasonable means.'

As for the city's right of first refusal, it is being given a reasonable time limit for the option to be exercised.

Proceeds from the sale would be credited to the Water Capital Improvement Project Fund.

The IWB was established through an intergovernmental agreement between the cities of Tigard, Durham and King City plus the Tigard Water District. It is made up of five members, one from each of the jurisdictions plus a member at large.

Patrick Carroll represents Durham, Dick Winn represents King City, Gretchen Buehner represents Tigard, George Rhine represents the water district, and Bill Scheiderich is the at-large member.

The board discussed selling the property at its February meeting, with Rhine pointing out that the conditions of the sale of surplus property were spelled out in the 1993 agreement that created the board.

At that same meeting, Chairman Scheiderich asked Tigard Public Works Director Dennis Koellermeier, who is the staff adviser to the board, that the partition of the property be designed in such a way as to make it attractive to other buyers besides Tigard.

During Monday's meeting, two members of the audience raised issues with the proposed resolution to offer the property for sale.

Julie Russell asked that the record be left open until the next meeting for public comment and added that the public record does not show that the Tigard Water District board had authorized the sale of the property. She also recommended that three appraisals be done on the property.

Ken Henschel also questioned whether the water district board had authorized the sale and whether it would be sold to the city of Tigard.

Scheiderich noted that the property could be sold to another party if a deal with the city could not be worked out.

Carroll pointed out that the agreement that created the Intergovernmental Water Board deeded the property to the board but that the paperwork was never completed.

However, he said that the agreement establishing the IWB remains a legally binding contract and that the Tigard Water District board has no authority to stop the deposition of the property because each IWB member owns a share of it.

When Henschel questioned why proceeds from the sale of the property would not be divided among the IWB members, commissioners responded that they had decided to place any proceeds from the sale of assets into the Water Capital Improvement Fund.

The fund is managed by Tigard for the benefit of all the IWB members and is used to pay for future water-system improvements.

Charles Radley, who serves on the five-member Tigard Water District Board of Commissioners, said this week that he finds the decision to sell the property puzzling.

'We vaguely discussed it over the last year, but it seems like they're rushing it through,' he said.

According to Greer Gaston, Tigard Public Works Department executive assistant, the city plans to start construction on the Canterbury park in July if the appraisal and sale are concluded by then.