Island County eyes surplus triangle

The state Department of Transportation will surplus a triangle of land between the old Ducken Road and the new version of its namesake built by the state last year. But even located in the right-of-way, Island County may not be interested.

A letter to the county from the DOT announcing the surplus was a result of legislation that requires the state DOT to notify jurisdictions of its intentions to sell land.

“This letter is the first one that says they are surplussing property in Island County,” Public Works Director Bill Oakes said at Wednesday’s Board of Island County Commissioners staff session. “This letter is asking if we are interested in acquiring this property.”

The county would still have to bid on the property. And Oakes said a private buyer has expressed interest. While generally loath to relinquish land in the right-of-way along the county’s main arterial, Highway 20, the public works director said a construction project had already realigned the road, precluding unwanted modifications.

“They cut this road down 8-feet,” Oakes said, adding that the triangle of property sits above the section of road that was shaved down. “I don’t see the need for additional road improvements at this location requiring county ownership of this land.”

Responding to an inquiry by Commissioner Mac McDowell, the department head said using the property as a “park and ride” or for mitigation purposes might be possible. Commissioner John Dean concurred.

“I can’t imagine any other use for it,” he said.

At McDowell’s request, Oakes will discuss with Island Transit the possible uses.

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