Krista Corner Havre Daily News email@example.com
A development company has resubmitted its bid to purchase city property at the south end of town for the construction of a proposed U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility. The Havre City Council will vote at its next meeting on July 17 in order to decide whether it’s even interested in selling the 30-acre plot near the Havre Ice Dome, which includes some land leased from the city by the Saddle Butte RC Club. Hewson Development Corp. official Joel Hewson resubmitted his $300,000 proposal on June 19. His letter sets out a process for the proposed sale and guarantees the city a $10,000 nonrefundable deposit in exchange for allowing Hewson a 180- day period to investigate the property. Hewson’s previous offer, also for $300,000, said the city would receive $60,000 for the land and $240,000 in cash or in-kind services for improvements at the city’s baseball and softball fields. The latest proposal only mentions the offer and does not address improvements at the fields. Hewson could not be reached for comment.
Saddle Butte RC Club members have said they would be amenable to the sale if the buyer could make arrangements to give them a new home. The club’s lease of land runs through 2011. In a meeting Monday night, City Council member Pam Hillery suggested that the City Council needs to first decide whether it’s interested in selling the property before it can consider the specifics of the offer. City Council president Rick Pierson agreed and said a special committee designated by Mayor Bob Rice to consider the offer cannot make a recommendation on Hewson’s proposal without knowing whether the City Council is interested in selling the land at all. At least one resident is opposed to the sale. Havre attorney Bob Peterson, in a letter to Rice and City Council members, said Hewson has not provided enough information about its plans for the property.
“Nothing has been provided by Hewson regarding specifications that attach to this project,” Peterson wrote. “I cannot discern whether questions regarding the actual specifications have been submitted by the Mayor or Council. Perhaps Hewson has claimed such specifications are not available ... I find this somewhat disingenuous ... This company has specifically asked for 30 acres as opposed to 10 acres or 15 acres for example.” Peterson also wrote that he’s concerned about the loss of land for potential residential growth that would increase the city’s tax base. He said a possible helicopter pad would distract children in school and drive property values down. He also said the city would be competing with private property owners in Havre. The Government Services Administration has studied other properties in town as possible sites for the Border Patrol facility. Peterson could not be reached for comment.