A new events centers called Lookout on the Lake moved close to opening this summer just outside of McCall.
But after public testimony and questions about the lease, the Idaho Land Board changed course and pulled the plug.
The McCall Star-News first reported on the decision.
Land Board pulls back lease
“It is the recommendation of the Office of the Attorney General, based upon concerns about the process used with respect to Lease M500031, that the lease be reconsidered by the Board, and that the Board take action to resolve this matter along the lines of the recommendation that I presented during executive session,” Darrell Early of the Idaho Office of the Attorney General said during a meeting in Boise last week.
That lease, according to KBOI-TV, gave Grove McCall, LLC rights to set up an event center on a 22-acre piece of land along the lake off Eastside Drive. The lease also included rights to six acres on Shellworth Island on the lake itself.
After the state executed the lease, neighbors caught wind and spoke out during a February land board meeting.. Concerns included traffic, the lease process, and impacts on the lake.
After hearing from staff and attorneys during an executive session last week, the Land Board decided to cancel the lease.
Attorney General Lawrence Wasden made the motion to rescind the lease. He said “the Idaho Department of Lands failed to comply with constitutionally and legally required processes in issuing the lease.”
Auction to be set
The motion directed staff to “prepare, market and offer for lease at public auction” the Lookout on the Lake parcel. The motion also directed Idaho Department of Lands and AG staff work out a settlement with Grove McCall “for costs and expenses incurred by the leaseholder associated with the lease which was not otherwise addressed during the leasing process.”
“The best thing for us to do is to rescind the lease and then to engage in proper processes that meet the financial, legal and constitutional requirements for us to offer this at lease,” Wasden said.
The Land Board voted 5-0 to approve the motion to rescind the lease.