Update 5/28 .. please also read this response from the School District. There is some disagreement as to how the two entities got to where they were, but we need (for now) to focus on moving towards a sale to the city for use as ballfields and a park.
The City Council released this statement Thursday evening. Thank you for your transparency and desire to come back to the negotiating table!
There is much community work left to be done to shepherd this transaction from statements to sale, but the last 24 hours are encouraging.
West Linn City Council Statement to the Public 05/27/2021
Over the past 40 years, the West Linn community has enjoyed use of the 10-acre Oppenlander Fields property on Rosemont Road.
The West-Linn Wilsonville School Board has recently decided to sell this property. The School Board approached the West Linn City Council and offered to sell the City the property at the appraised value of $6,500,000.
The City Council discussed this in confidential Executive Session, as it does all real estate matters. The offered price far exceeded funds readily available to the City in the budget for a land purchase.
Given the price tag, the City Council requested the opportunity to have an open community discussion of this property with enough time allowed to explore possible uses and potentially hold a city-wide vote in November 2021 on a General Obligation Bond Measure to determine whether the citizens of West Linn wanted to raise taxes so the City could purchase the property. To that end, City staff drafted an option agreement that would have allowed the City to have until the end of this year to determine whether City purchase of Oppenlander Fields was desired by the community.
That option agreement was provided confidentially to School District staff and the School Board. Initially, the District was receptive to the Council’s proposed option agreement, but shortly thereafter, the School Board concluded that this timeline did not meet the District’s needs, and informed the Council that they would be moving to sell the property on the open market.
The City Council understands the importance of this property to community members, neighbors, and youth sports organizations. The Council maintains interest in its proposed option agreement if the District is willing to delay sale.
But It’s NOT a Done Deal Yet – We Must Keep the Pressure On!
We are a long way from the finish line. Neither side is actually back at the table yet. We need to keep the pressure on! Keep sharing SaveOppenlander.org to help us get more signatures on the petitions, keep sending emails, and come to the Rally tomorrow morning!