Friday, September 13, 2013

Foundation balks at Croy land transfer

2007 agreement states county to take possession


By GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writer

By GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writer
    A dispute has arisen between Blaine County and the Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation over whether the foundation is obligated to transfer ownership of a 20-acre parcel that it owns in Croy Canyon now that it has abandoned its effort to build a senior-care facility there.
    The foundation announced the termination of that effort last week.
    According to a service agreement made between the county and the foundation in 2007, “[i]f CCRF is unable to proceed with its plans to build a new continuing care facility because it is unable to meet its fundraising goals, CCRF agrees to transfer to Blaine County all unexpended county funds [and] the twenty (20) acre CCRF site in Croy Canyon … .”
    Queried as to the status of that transfer, County Commissioner Jacob Greenberg said a conference call on the subject took place Tuesday afternoon among himself, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tim Graves and foundation board member Jan Wygle.


It’s something that we have to look into very carefully.”
Anita McCann
Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation


    “Their position is that the land should remain with the foundation,” Greenberg said.
    Wygle could not be reached for comment, but board Chair Anita McCann said the board had not made a decision on the subject, though Wygle’s personal position is that the foundation is not legally obligated to transfer the parcel. McCann said Wygle, an attorney, had done “a tremendous amount of research” on the subject.
    “It’s something that we have to look into very carefully before we decide what we’re going to do with that land,” McCann said.
    Asked why the board might want to hold on to the parcel now that it no longer plans to build a facility there, McCann said there are bound to be “lots of ideas” about what could be done with it.
    She said she still hopes that a nonprofit senior-care facility will someday be built in the county.
    “It’s been proven over and over that nonprofits take better care of their elders,” she said.
    McCann declined to reveal the price that the foundation paid for the parcel in 2006, but said it is about two-thirds paid for.
    Between 2004 and 2008, the foundation was the recipient of $981,732 in county funds. McCann said all that money has been spent on planning its proposed facility.
    According to the foundation’s website, it raised $3,553,870 toward construction of its proposed $13 million facility.
Greg Moore: gmoore@mtexpress.com




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