Bidders spend $8 million to acquire Spokane Raceway Park - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Bidders spend $8 million to acquire Spokane Raceway Park

Spokane County is Bidder #479 Spokane County is Bidder #479

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. - Spokane County successfully won four parcels of land including the racetrack at a Thursday auction for the Spokane Raceway Park.

The county bought the land for $12,500/acre. The County's winning bid for the four parcels was $4,326,987.50, which includes a 10% commission for brokers and the auction company. In all, bidders spent $8,210,405 to acquire all parcels of the park.

Controversy surrounds the county's interest in this park, as they would need to use tax payers money to help in their auction bid.

Commissioner Todd Mielke commented on the potential of the site, "The purchase today gives Spokane County an opportunity to expand the adjacent ORV Park and consider other recreational possibilities ranging from soccer fields to a BMX course.

The Board was especially pleased when the seller announced their commitment to handling any environmental remediation that is deemed necessary at the site.  Since the seller will bear those costs, we (Spokane County) actually paid less than our appraisal stated for these parcels."

Earlier this week, County staff conducted tests on groundwater at the site and found high levels of Trichloroethylene (TCE), an industrial degreaser and carcinogen in one of the drinking water wells.  Commissioner Bonnie Mager said that she is still concerned about pollution at the site, but hopes the race track will prove to be an asset.  "Although I did not support the purchase and still believe it is not responsible public policy to knowingly purchase contaminated property with taxpayer dollars, now that the property is ours, it is my fervent hope that there will be enough money provided by the seller to cover the cost of clean-up.  I also hope that the track will be able to perform in a way that benefits our community and that it can eventually sustain itself," Mager said. 

The sale of the racing complex was ordered by the court to satisfy ownership claims filed by limited partners who brought a lawsuit five years ago.

The suit alleges that they failed to see any profit or return on $2.5 million worth of shares they purchased to help build the complex in the 1970s.

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