By JASON COX

Of the Keizertimes

About $637,000 set aside for River Road improvements and other urban renewal projects will instead be used to buy land at Keizer Station.

But city staff say the ultimate intent is to reimburse the Urban Renewal Agency – and, in turn, money set aside for improving River Road’s look – once the land is sold as part of a larger development project.

The Keizer Urban Renewal Agency, which consists of the city council and mayor, voted Monday, March 15, to purchase some 53,143 feet of land from Flora J. Tiersma. The parcel cuts diagonally across land from the south end of the Gubser neighborhood, across Keizer Station Boulevard and up to almost Lockhaven Drive. It sits in an portion of Keizer Station designated as Area B.

All is coming from urban renewal dollars. About $470,000 is coming directly from River Road Renaissance, while the rest will be bought on credit, Finance Director Susan Gahlsdorf said.

The City of Keizer already owns much of the surrounding land. City Manager Chris Eppley hinted that the land is an important piece of developing the land. The city hopes to be able to sell the land to developers at some point, he indicated.

“Having the whole parcel to work with makes it much easier to work with,” Eppley said at Monday’s meeting.

The only objection at Monday’s hearing came from Dave Bauer, who questioned how useful the whole parcel may be and said entry and exit would be difficult. Eppley said the purchase would allow for more sensible entry and exit options for the business that will eventually be built there. Eppley also said the property is in the master planning process.