PRIEST LAKE AUCTION: Most families retain lots that were in thei - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

PRIEST LAKE AUCTION: Most families retain lots that were in their family for generations

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PRIEST LAKE, Idaho- The Idaho Department of Lands earned nearly $27 million for Idaho's public school system in the Thursday auction of 59 lakefront lots. 58 of the 59 lots sold went to the original land owners. The State own 534 lots on Priest Lake in total.
 
In a press release sent out by the Idaho Department of Lands, they quoted  Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, a State Board of Land Commissioners (Land Board) member as saying, “The sale of dozens of Priest Lake cottage sites today is a step in the right direction for the State of Idaho. We're implementing a decision of the Land Board to the benefit of Idaho's public schools while providing resolution for many families eager to move on from leasing the land beneath their homes.”

The auction was voluntary because the lessees, those are the individuals and families who lease the lots from the State but own the cabins and other personal property on the land, applied to participate and agreed to the auction of the lot they lease.

58 of the current lessees submitted the highest bid for the lot they lease. There was competitive bidding on 2 of the lots. For the one lot that received the winning bid from someone other than the current lessee, the successful high bidder separately must pay the lessee for the value of the cabin and other improvements.

We spoke to families who were getting ready to bid on their land. Hough Campbell has been living on his property for 42 years, and said they didn't have much of a choice but to fight for it because of the investment they had put in. Campbell was the successful bidder for his lot.
 
The funds from the land sales will be deposited in a “Land Bank” or permanent funds. The Land Board is reviewing investment strategies to determine where to reinvest the proceeds from the disposition of all cottage site lots.

Including Thursday's auction, Idaho has sold 95 or almost one-fifth of its 534 cottage site lots at Priest Lake and Payette Lake. The Land Board approved another 36 lots at Payette Lake to be auctioned later this year, and IDL will bring the Land Board recommendations for auctions of even more lots at both lakes in 2015.
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