City of Cheney negotiates to acquire 228 acres
City seeks to purchase property for future useJanuary 28th, 2021
The city of Cheney is in the midst of negotiations to purchase 228 acres of land southeast of downtown Cheney.
Mark Schuller, city administrator, says Cheney has had an eye on the property for a few years, since the family that owns the land approached the city after the death of the family’s patriarch, Schuller says.
“They reached out to us because the property butts up against city facilities and city property,” Schuller says.
The acreage includes seven separate parcels located near the city’s recycling center on Anderson Road.
Cheney City Council approved spending $360,710 to buy the land on Jan. 12, but Schuller says that was one step in the purchasing process.
“In any negotiation, you’re going to start as low as possible,” Schuller says. Spokane County records don’t show a recent sale date for any of the seven parcels. However, in comparison to the city’s initial $1,582 per acre offer for the parcels, individual parcels in the area were sold for at least twice that figure about 15 years ago.
“Council had given some authorization to the mayor to negotiate up to a certain price,” Schuller says. “It was a pretty low offer, based on the value of the land. It’s still in the back-and-forth stage, but we’re pretty close to a price.”
Cheney City Council had scheduled an executive session to further discuss the matter for Tuesday, Jan. 26, after the Journal’s press time. Schuller says the purpose of the meeting is to determine the price the city is willing to pay for the land.
“If we have an offer that’s in the ballpark, things would move fairly quickly after that,” Schuller says.
Funding for the purchase will likely come from the city’s enterprise fund, Schuller says.
Schuller says the city is considering a few uses for the land, including wetland mitigation, hiking trails, and city facilities, such as the city headworks, where sewage enters the wastewater treatment process. The city’s headworks currently is located on land Cheney leases from a railroad company, and Schuller says moving the facility to city-owned land would be financially advantageous in the long-term.
“We have some options, and we haven’t completely fleshed those out yet, but we know we have to strike while the iron is hot, while the property is available, and we have a chance to acquire it,” he says.
Schuller says the city is negotiating the purchase of the land through real estate agent Stoddard Hodgson, of Spokane-based R.H. Cooke & Associates Inc.