Oak Harbor sold a parcel of gravel-rich property for twice its appraised value. The earnings will be earmarked for future parks projects.
Last week, the Oak Harbor City Council approved a purchase and sales agreement with Miles Sand & Gravel Co., of Puyallup, for a 39-acre property north of the city.
The city purchased the property at the intersection of Highway 20 and Sleeper Road in 1966 with hopes that it would provide the city with an inexpensive source of gravel. That never happened, but the city did log it four years ago and earned more than $200,000.
A 2016 appraisal pegged the value of the property at $310,000.
Since the land is outside city limits and not being used, the city placed it for sale. The city received two bids.
The PBY Memorial Foundation, an Oak Harbor nonprofit that manages a popular Naval air museum, submitted a bid of $352,000, with an escalation clause of up to $400,000.
Miles Sand & Gravel offered $651,000 in cash and won the bid.
During the meeting, Councilman Rick Almberg made a motion to restrict the use of the funds to capital projects at city parks, saying there’s a tendency for excess funds to get “frittered away.”
Councilman Joel Servatius concurred with the idea of earmarking the funds, noting that there’s a couple of park projects on the city horizon.
The city is trying to purchase 75 acres, dubbed “Harbor Heights,” at the end of Gun Club Road, for a regional park. The state capital budget includes $350,000 for the city to purchase the property, but then the city would need funds to develop the park into ballfields and other uses.