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REDMOND, OR-After 10 years of negotiations, a land swap involving The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Central Oregon Irrigation District has taken a step closer to fruition. The two agencies have published a “notice of land exchange” wherein the COID gets 254 acres 126 inside the City of Redmond’s Urban Growth Boundary and the BLM gets 832 acres elsewhere in Central Oregon that includes 30 acres at Cline Falls on the Middle Deschutes River.

The land appraisal phase of the process is now underway and should be concluded in the next few months. Depending on the resulting valuations, the acreage involved in the swap may change. After that, BLM will issue a “decision” document detailing the property in the exchange. A public comment period will follow the publication of the decision, and the exchange will likely be finalized sometime next year.

COID officials have said they are open to partnering with other community members on development of the 240 acres it will acquire. The remaining 14 acres will go to the agency’s partners in the land swap. The Redmond School District and the City of Redmond, seeking a new school site and industrial land, respectively, have expressed interest in the land. So, too, have Central Oregon Community College, the Oregon National Guard and the Humane Society of Redmond. Regardless, the city of Redmond plans to rezone the BLM property after the exchange from “open space public reserve” to “light and heavy industrial.”

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