By Cameron Rasmusson
The Sandpoint City Council is investigating the possibility of obtaining a LOR Foundation grant that could help pay for the University of Idaho property on North Boyer.
Council members voted Friday in a special meeting to move the process forward in pursuing the LOR Foundation grant. While it doesn’t guarantee that the city will receive the money, it signals to both the LOR Foundation and city staff to advance the process.
“This is seeking funding—a significant amount of funding—so we felt we needed to bring this to the City Council to pursue this,” said Sandpoint City Attorney Scot Campbell
According to Campbell, it’s too early to say whether the LOR Foundation will require match funding from the city, what the total grant award will be or whether there’s any guarantee of funding at all. However, the city and foundation have previously cooperated successfully on the Farmin’s Landing project.
A public acquisition of the University of Idaho property could satisfy locals concerned about its future. In recent council meetings and workshops scoping priorities and preferred outcomes, residents worried that a sale to a private developer might diminish the legacy of a property originally intended to benefit the public. Its historic uses include agricultural research, education and recreation.
“We want to be clear that there’s no promise of funding or offer of a grant, but that there are aspects of the property that interest (the LOR Foundation),” Campbell said.
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