State, group fail to reach price for Badger Mtn. landsignshoplo
RICHLAND — Richland had to turn down $1.3 million from the state to help preserve 150 acres of ridgetop on Little Badger Mountain because negotiations with the property owner fell through, a city official said.
“It’s over, darn,” said Phil Pinard, planning and capital projects manager for Richland’s Parks and Recreation Department. “It’s hard to give up when you do so well on your application.”
The city had submitted the proposal for funding to the state and was planning to match money raised by Friends of Badger Mountain so the nonprofit could try to purchase the land. Both the House and Senate budget proposals included $1.3 million for Richland’s Parks and Recreation Department.
But the combined funding wouldn’t have been enough to meet the landowner’s asking price of $5 million, and Richland developer Milo Bauder might not have been willing to sell now anyway, Pinard said.
“It was kind of a long shot to start with,” said Pinard, who told the Herald that the city had turned down the proposed state money. “There was never an agreement on the price.”
Bauder wouldn’t comment on if the land was for sale, the asking price or any negotiations between him and the city or Friends of Badger Mountain, a nonprofit group working to preserve Tri-City area ridgetops.
Sharon Grant, of Friends of Badger Mountain, said the group and a city official were going to try to negotiate with Bauder one more time on Friday, but Grant and city officials did not return messages left by the Herald on Friday afternoon.