Bonney Lake to allow dairy grazing on Reed Property

The city of Bonney Lake appears to be close to allowing neighboring cattle to graze on the pastures that make up the Reed Property, a 20-acre site purchased in 2010 or its potential as a water source.

Bought for $1.07 million and located  just east of city limits on Barkubein Road East, the land contains a house and several farm buildings. As the city prepares to drill test wells to check the property’s value as a water source, discussions have been underway on how to best utilize the property until the water right is developed. According to the council presentation, the plan is for the land to be surplussed and sold once the water right is developed.

Test drilling at the site is listed as one of the top priorities for the Public Works department in 2012.

In the meantime, there has been interest from several parties regarding use  of the land and the house, including a neighboring dairy, a horse owner interested in pasture land, the police department and the Greater Bonney Lake Historical Society.

The council is also considering renting out the house, which was built in 1948 and expanded in 1966. But according to Executive Assistant Brian Hartsell, the city would need to invest a minimum of $37,000 to bring the house to a rentable condition.

The largest chunk of repair cost comes in the form of a $25,000 roof repair.

Council members were split on whether the house should be repaired or potentially just knocked down, though a cost of removal was not available at the retreat. The council also balked at renting the house and taking on the responsibilities that would come with tenants.

“We’re really not in the business of being a landlord,” Council member Katrina Minton-Davis said. “If the house is a problem, it needs to go away.”

After a discussion during their retreat, the council directed the administration to focus on working out a deal with the Anderson Dairy, whose cows presently use the majority of the land surrounding the property.

According to Hartsell, Anderson Dairy wants to use 13 acres of pasture land in exchange for the maintenance of pastures and fences, as well as blackberry and noxious weed control.

The horse owner was looking to use the house and some barn space and the council decided just renting pasture land would be better for the city at this time. However, the administration was instructed to continue to pursue an option that would allow the Bonney Lake Police Department to construct a training facility, as well as to continue to work with the historical society to find places for the group to store artifacts and other properties.