The City of Boise and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are poised to complete the sale of Hammer Flat, 701 acres of open space located approximately one mile east of the city and adjacent to the Boise River.
"The closing is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, knock wood," Boise Parks and Recreation Director Jim Hall told Citydesk. "That going to be $4.2 million coming to us next week. We bought it for $4.1 million."
In March 2010, the city used Foothills Levy funds to purchase Hammer Flat, an area once coveted by developers to build a housing subdivision known as the Cliffs.
In December 2011, the Boise City Council unanimously approved the sale of Hammer Flat to Fish and Game, but not before a few council members strongly suggested that paragliders once again have access to the pristine plateau in the city's Foothills.
"I've learned just how unique Hammer Flat is to the gliding community," said Council Member Elaine Clegg. "We need to protect this special opportunity, if it's appropriate."
Council Member T.J. Thomson voiced the strongest support for gliders.
"To eliminate this sport permanently would be a travesty," said Thomson. "Having said that, to vote 'no' on this sale would be similar to throwing the baby out with the bath water."
Fish and Game has said it can't make a decision on paragliding until the sale closes.
Hall told Citydesk that Boise officials are already thinking about what to do with a replenished Foothills fund.
"We get calls from banks, from property owners and neighborhoods asking, 'Why don't you buy this or that piece of property?' I think there's some low-hanging fruit out there that we might be able to pick off," said Hall.