A swap of two tax lots between the Seaside School District and Clatsop County could remedy the impacts of a long-ago foreclosure.
District business manager Justine Hill said the district has an offer on the former Seaside High School property on North Holladay Drive and is ready to proceed except for a question of ownership pertaining to the lot.
According to county records, a small parcel of property to the north of the old high school track — tax lot 4900 — was deeded to the district by its owners, Leonard and Eleanor Kiser, in 1956.
The district, however, was responsible for paying back tax on the property and that payment never occurred.
As a result, in 1961, the county foreclosed on the property. As a public entity, the district was still permitted to use the property, Hill said, “it’s just that once we vacated the property, it would go back (to the county).”
The district has “no communication” indicating they were aware of the situation or that they hadn’t paid the taxes, she said.
Additionally, state law invalidates the tax foreclosure because the property was in public ownership when it occurred.
One option for resolving the issue is for the school district to pay the lien on lot 4900 and then own it outright.
Another option, which was approved by the board during the meeting, is for Superintendent Susan Penrod and Hill to negotiate a parcel trade with the county.
The county would be given ownership of Lot 4900. In exchange, lot 2900 — a land parcel on the south end of the high school property — would be given to the district. The parcel is subject to a reversionary clause that gives ownership of the property back to the county when the district vacates it.
As part of the parcel exchange, the reversionary clause would be nullified.
“It makes perfectly good sense to me,” board president Mark Truax said. “It makes it easier for all three parties.”
According to Hill, the county is set to discuss the matter during a meeting in October. Until then, she said, “we are just in a holding process.”