MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - County council has approved an increase in the amount of money the municipality pays for land acquisition from $4,500 to $5,000 per acre.
The move came by way of motion at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting, held in person and on Zoom.
Under policy No. 4017 and Procedure 4017-01 the county sets the price it pays for land acquisition and disturbance for road construction. The rate is reviewed annually to ensure it is in line with current market value.
The county’s assessment service department recently provided land sale information from across the county in 2022 to the county’s operational services department.
The average sale price in 2022 was $5,101.86 per acre and the median prices was $5,000; the average price increased $350.87 per acre from 2021 while the median saw an increase of $474.32 per acre.
Based on the data, the department recommended the county’s land purchase price be increased from $4,500 per acre to $5,000 per acre.
Ryan Morrison, director of operational services, told council, “We treat everybody the same and this is how we have been doing it for quite some time. It makes it a lot easier for us to justify those purchases with everyone knowing they are getting paid the same rate.”
Since the policy was brought in several years ago, the county hasn’t “deviated from it and we have never paid anyone that is not on this schedule.”
Coun. Alan Miller called the new price fair.
“I know what some of the ag land is trading for currently in the east county and I think that’s maybe on the low side comparatively, but I realize we varied land,” said Miller.
Coun. Jennifer Lutz asked if the county could pay different landowners different prices.
Morrison replied, “We (administration) just recommend that we do it the same for everyone because it makes it a lot more open and transparent. This is an open policy and people can see what we pay.”
The county buys land for such things as culvert and/or bridge expansion, he noted.
Coun. Peggy Johnson did not attend the Jan. 25 council meeting.