NAMPA — State officials support keeping Centennial and Ridgecrest golf courses as golf courses leading up to the lease agreement with the city of Nampa expiring at the end of the year.
The city of Nampa has a lease agreement with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare on nearly 500 acres that include the golf courses, which has been in effect since 1984.
Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen said the lease rate is attractive for the city, but not for the state.
Nampa in 2018 paid $50,653 in lease payments for both golf courses, department spokeswoman Kelly Petroff said.
The Centennial and Ridgecrest courses take up about 476 acres of the roughly 600-acre property, which also includes the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center and the Centennial Job Corps Center.
With the lease agreement about to expire, state officials will decide how to move forward. The most likely options, Jeppesen said, are to negotiate a new lease with the city, sell the land to the city, or sell the land to another buyer.
Health and Welfare officials completed an appraisal of the land, but Jeppesen said he couldn’t give details about the results while the state was still in negotiations with the city. He said officials have had a follow-up conversation with Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling since the appraisal.
Kling previously told the Idaho Press that she would like to enter a lease-purchase agreement with the state where the city would eventually own both properties. She said she would like to keep the golf courses open, and many Nampa residents share that desire. Centennial was built entirely through volunteer labor and opened in 1987, and the city opened Ridgecrest less than a decade later.
“The constituents are extremely passionate — I think that’s saying it lightly,” said Rep. Rick Youngblood, R-Nampa, at a Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee meeting Tuesday. “It’s their golf courses.”
Jeppesen said he would also like the golf courses to stay open. He said the courses provide a service for the community and act as a buffer between the rest of the city and the SWITC and Job Corps campuses.
Negotiations with the city will likely span into next year, after the lease agreement expires. Jeppesen said the state is moving to extend the city’s lease, either for six months or on a month-to-month basis, while officials work to discuss the possibilities.