Havre Daily News
Havre Mayor Bob Rice on Monday asked a City Council committee to consider a proposal to purchase land for the construction of a new U.S. Border Patrol facility and said he doesn't think the city should sell the land.
A month ago city officials received an offer from a Missoula law firm representing Phoenix-based Hewson Development Company, which wants to purchase 30 acres of city-owned land east and south of existing Border Patrol facilities for $300,000.
Rice told City Council members Monday night that he doesn't think the city should sell. He cited several reasons, including the city's 20-year agreement with the Saddle Butte RC Club, which has leased land from the city for its flying field. The proposed purchase includes some of that land.
“(The city) can't just break out of a lease at the city's convenience,” Rice said.
He said he fears the area will be developed if the city constructs water and sewer lines to the property and said that “ ... the Border Patrol wants nothing within a quarter of a mile.”
Rice also told City Council members that local companies are interested in the project. Those businesses should be first in council members' minds when considering the sale, he said. The proposal states that the purchase will not be final unless Hewson is awarded the contract to build the facility.
Rice asked members of the City Council's Finance Committee to review the proposal.
He said federal General Services Administration personnel will be in Havre this week. The agency wants an answer to the proposal, he said.
The Finance Committee will consider the land purchase in a meeting next Tuesday at 7 p.m. at City Hall.