Scottsdale OKs pursuit of more McDowell Sonoran Preserve land

The Gateway Trailhead at McDowell Sonoran Preserve. (photo by Flickr user  Dru Bloomfield)

The Gateway Trailhead at McDowell Sonoran Preserve. (photo by Flickr user
Dru Bloomfield)

Scottsdale is now in the running for two parcels of land that would go to extending the borders of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Scottsdale City Council decided to move forward with bidding on two parcels of land at a Wednesday, Sept. 21, auction that the Arizona State Department of Land is hosting. This decision came at the Tuesday, Sept. 13, city council meeting.

According to the staff proposal, the first parcel of land is 121 acres and sits east of Pima Road and west of the 104th Street alignment between the Dixileta Drive and Westland Road alignments. The second occu-pies land east of Pima Road and west of the 92nd Street alignment between the Dixileta Drive and Dyna-mite Boulevard alignments and covers 294 acres, according to the staff proposal.

In order to ensure there is enough money to make bids on the land, the city is declaring an emergency so that funds are readily available to make the payments within the 30-day window, according to the staff proposal.
For the first parcel of land, the opening bid is just under $2.2 million while the minimum opening bid for the second piece of land is just above $28.2 million, according to the staff proposal.

If the city is a successful bidder on either piece of land, there is a non-refundable deposit for each parcel. However, the city would not have to pay those deposits if it is not successful in its bidding, according to the staff proposal.

In the case, the city is successful in bidding, the city treasurer would sign a reimbursement declaration, allowing the city to use existing cash flow to pay for the land and have tax-exempt obligations, such as the Preserve General Obligation bonds, reimburse the city at a later date, according to the proposal.

The plan for the city to obtain these pieces of land and what to do in order to pay for them are lined out in a proposed resolution.

According to the proposal, staff recommended the city adopted the resolution to bid on the two parcels of land and declare an emergency in order to pay for them if the city is successful in bidding.

Previously, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission recommended the pursuit of both pieces of land during Spring 2013. During the commission’s April 13, 2016 meeting, the commission decided unanimously to recommend its support in acquiring both pieces of land.

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

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