In an effort to "provide more access to the Public Auction process" (read: attract skinflint speculators), the Ada County treasurer announced last week that the County will open tax-delinquent property auctions for sale on the Internet for the very first time. The opening auction will take place from 9 a.m. on March 23 to 3 p.m. on May 24, at the Web site www.bid4assets.com/Ada. The lot of six properties can be previewed on the Treasurer's site, linkable at www.adaweb.net.
An example of the booty that will be biddable: The townsite of Orchard, an ancient shanty heap located 25 miles southeast of Boise near the border of the National Guard's Orchard Training Area. Since 1941, this area has been a favorite for tactical live-ammo excercises, tank maneuvering, bivouacking, helicopter shenanigans and, occasionally, laser firing. That, and it's prime habitat for everyone's favorite Idaho-only species, the carnivorous Fairy Shrimp. Minimum bid: $600. Owning your own home, where the Fairy Shrimp roam, and the skies are full of lasers all day-ee: Priceless.