City-owned land in Pasco that had been set aside for water slides and wave pools will now be used for a car dealership.
The Pasco City Council voted Monday evening to sell seven of the remaining 14 acres it owns on Sandifur Boulevard to Bill McCurley, who plans to move his Subaru dealership from the Pasco Autoplex, southwest of the intersection of Highway 395 and Court Street.
The land being sold was set aside as the site for a regional aquatics center, but Tri-City voters rejected a tenth-of-a-percent sales tax in August 2013 that would have paid for the facility.
McCurley, who is required to start construction on the dealership within a year, told the council he will actually start work in March. He plans to spend $3 million on the new dealership. He will then renovate and expand the Mazda dealership in the Autoplex that now shares space with Subaru.
"We've outgrown that facility," he said of the existing building.
The new dealership, northeast of the Interstate 182-Broadmoor Boulevard interchange, will create 30 new jobs, McCurley said. It will also contribute more than $240,000 in property taxes annually to the city.
Council members praised McCurley for staying in Pasco.
"Thank you for being in Pasco and, to be quite blunt, we do appreciate the sales tax that you do produce," Mayor Matt Watkins said.
The city is selling the seven acres for $701,316, according to city documents.
The city exercised its option to buy the 14 acres in January for $1.4 million. The site initially included 28 acres, but West Pasco LLC, owned by Basin Disposal owner Len Dietrich, bought half of the property.
Pasco expects interest in the remaining seven acres that it owns at the site to increase with the McCurley purchase, City Manager Dave Zabell said.
Also Monday, the council:
-- Voted to allow parking on the north side of Washington Street, between Ninth and 10th Avenues. Parking will be limited to two hours between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to allow for commercial deliveries to a shipping business.
-- Changed rules on paying for the city's annual employee recognition banquet. An ordinance previously set aside $18,000 to pay for the banquet. The council will now set the cost as part of the city's budget.
-- Approved a five-year permit for farming near the intersection of Burns Road and Broadmoor Boulevard. Tom Kidwell will primarily farm alfalfa on the 150-acre site.
-- Approved a change in city law allowing for sewer service to be used in annexation agreements for people living outside the city limits. The utility agreements had previously been used just for people using water service, but an expansion of sewer service west of Highway 395 could lead to more people living in the unincorporated "doughnut hole" near west Pasco being interested in annexation, according to the council's agenda packet.
-- Presented Felix Vargas of Pasco with a National Hispanic Heritage Month proclamation.
-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom