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Boise purchases 80 additional acres in foothills

Mayor David Bieter and the Boise City Council approved the purchase of 80 acres of open space in the Polecat Gulch Reserve from Sterling Savings Bank April 13.

The city used $270,000 from the 2001 Foothills Serial Levy to purchase the land. It has spent a total of $2.2 million in serial levy funds to purchase the property in Polecat Gulch Reserve, which totals 680 acres, since 2002.

The newest acreage was formerly owned by Linda Dengler, who had planned to develop a detox center on 5 of those acres and had another 5 acres set aside for development as well, but the property was foreclosed on last year. The bank notified the city that the property was available, and the two parties eventually settled on the purchase price.

The city already held a development easement on 70 acres of the property.

The property was appraised at $500,000 last November, said Foothills and Open Space Manager Julia Kertz Grant, and the city purchased the adjacent 80 acres for $720,000 in 2005.

The two-year serial levy approved by voters in 2001 generated $10 million for the protection of open space in the Boise foothills. Just over $100,000 remains.

Polecat Gulch features eight miles of trails and is home to mature vegetation that supports mule deer year round and a substantial population of Aase’s onion, a rare plant found in the Boise Foothills. In 2007, a trailhead parking lot was built with a $46,000 grant awarded by the Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation.

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