Navy check arrives for Boyer property

With the arrival last week of the Navy’s $777,000 check for partial purchase of the Boyer property, all parties involved are breathing a collective sigh of relief.

The Island County Commissioners signed closing documents June 25. The only missing piece was the electronic check from the Navy, that Commissioner Mac McDowell was assured was “in the mail.”

The Boyer family will receive $2.2 million and Oak Harbor will own the 17.79 acres on Highway 20 at the intersection of Fakkema Road.

Under the rather complex deal, the Navy is paying $777,000 for a development easement on the land, which will reduce the number of people allowed per acre from 30 to 10. The county is paying $566,124 in general fund money for an easement to further reduce the number of people per acre to just one.

The state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development is contributing $678,000 toward the purchase of easements, but will not actually own an easement or land.

The city and the county determined that it was in their long-term best interest to protect, preserve, and enhance the training environment of the naval air station by buying the easement down to one person per acre.

The current zoning and density regulations could allow for light industrial use or boat or RV sales, Oak Harbor Mayor Patty Cohen said in March. McDowell said the density was set lower to protect people on the ground should an aircraft crash during take-off or landing.

Once the Navy money arrived, McDowell called to ask the auditor to cut a check pronto. The property will now close within 24 hours of the receipt of the funds.

McDowell had been checking for the money daily and was relieved when it finally arrived.

“It’s a great example of teamwork between all the players involved,” he said.

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