This week, the Idaho Department of Lands auctioned off 20 parcels of land near Payette Lake, with total sales reaching almost $7 million.
During the Nov. 13 sale, 17 lots with cabins on them hit the auction block. While all of the property leaseholders applied to participate in the auction, two lost the land in the bidding process, with one lessee losing a property to a party that paid $11,000 more than the property's assessed value. Another property was sold without the current lessee bidding at all. One lessee purchased previously leased property for $31,000 over its assessed value after a bidding war.
Auctioning of lots around Payette Lake began in December 2014, when the Idaho Land Board approved the sale of 180 lots there and on Priest Lake by 2018. This came after the approval of a 2010 plan to sell all state-owned cottage sites around both lakes and apply the proceeds to a "Land Bank." Since then, 189 lots have been auctioned around the lakes—nearly one-third of the cottage stock there—raising more than $79 million.
Funds raised by the auctions benefit public K-12 schools, programs at Idaho State University and Lewis-Clark State College, and State Hospital South in Blackfoot.