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One lot on Cougar Island gets buyer, rest of island remains in state hands

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Cougar Island went on the auction block Wednesday, with just one parcel was sold. 

The 14.21-acre island is the largest in Payette Lake and has gained a lot of attention when the state decided it would auction the lots.  The property is part of the Idaho Land Endowment.

Since the state’s announcement of an auction, both the Valley County Commissioners and the City of McCall voiced concerns. Both parties worried that an auction would result in the county losing the land for recreation. McCall made an attempt to designate the island as an Area of Critical Concern with the hope that this would stop the auction – however, the Valley County Board of Commissioners did not ratify the city’s resolution.

Cougar Island auction
Cougar Island in Payette Lake. Screenshot via Corbett Bottles Real Estate

Corbett Bottles Real Estate hosted the auction at the Waters Edge Events Center in Eagle. The auction offered five different parcels on the island. The only parcel that sold was the sold 2.52 acres lot with the home on it. One bid was received for the property on the island with a current home $2,025,000. Jim Laski of Bellevue, Idaho, who leases the property currently, was the winning bidder, according to Josh Purkiss with the Idaho Dept. of Lands.

Laski triggered the auction process by putting in a request under the Idaho Dept. of Land’s Voluntary Auction for Ownership process

Sharla Arledge of the Idaho Department of Lands said that closing will take place in 30 to 60 days with the chance of a 30-day extension.

All the auction prices started at more than a million dollars. For lot one, the auction started at $1,484,000, for lot five it started at $1,418,000, lot four started at $1,286,000, and lot three started at $2,557,000.

With the auction complete, the lots on the island are not subject to the VAFO process, which could open up options for the state. According to Purkiss, it could allow someone else to approach the state and say they are interested in a new auction for the rest of the island, or the state could look at other options.

Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at [email protected].

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