CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, July 31, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider S. 270, the La Pine Land Conveyance Act, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for approval. The bill was introduced on February 3, 2011, by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. On October 18, 2011, the bill was passed in the Senate, as amended, by unanimous consent. The bill was received in the House and referred to the Natural Resources Committee on October 21, 2011. On June 7, 2012, the committee reported the bill by unanimous consent.
S. 270 would require the Secretary of the Interior to convey approximately 910 acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Oregon to the City of La Pine, Oregon, or the County of Deschutes, Oregon. Currently, the land is managed as a part of the BLM’s Prineville District in Oregon.
The land conveyed would consist of three distinct parcels, including parcels of 150 acres, 750 acres, and ten acres respectively. The first parcel would have to be used for outdoor recreation, open space, or public parks, including a rodeo ground. The second parcel would have to be used for a public sewer system. The final parcel would have to be used for a public library, public park, or open space.
The Secretary would require the County to pay all survey costs and other administrative costs associated with the conveyances under this legislation. If the land conveyed under this bill ceases to be used for the public purpose for which the land was conveyed, the land would revert to the possession of the United States.
According to the Committee on Natural Resources, La Pine is a rural community located on the southern edge of Deschutes County, Oregon, and surrounded by lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The city has previously acquired BLM parcels under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act (RPPA) and community leaders have discussed with the BLM the need for additional land to serve other public purposes. S. 270 proposes to convey to the City of La Pine and Deschutes County, Oregon, three parcels, consisting of 150 acres for Parcel A, 750 acres for Parcel B, and 10 acres for Parcel C. The bill will provide for community events land, the expansion of the community's wastewater treatment facilities and open space for the City of La Pine and its public library.
Parcel A is comprised of Community Events Land that would provide room for expansion of long-running and growing community events including La Pine Frontier Days and La Pine Rodeo. The proposed event area will be used to boost the region's tourism by developing grounds for rodeo and community wide events as well as provide for the development of other park and recreation facilities. Essentially, this land will serve to enhance the community's tourism and recreational pursuits, which are vital to the area's continued economic development.
Parcel B would provide much needed waste water effluent disposal from the growing city. The City of La Pine currently is disposing of effluent to a reuse site that has seasonal water tables varying from 7 to 12 feet below the ground surface. The ability of the community to expand for business and residential growth is limited by the size of the existing reuse site and its close proximity to groundwater. The proposed new treatment and reuse site for La Pine will provide a site of adequate size for the long-term growth of the community.
Finally, Parcel C is a small parcel of BLM land in the city. Located in the center of town where an existing library is located, the City of La Pine will utilize this parcel for open space uses and the continued operation of the library.
According to CBO, S. 270 would have no significant impact on discretionary spending. Because some of the property to be conveyed under S. 270 has already been identified by BLM for potential sale, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would reduce offsetting receipts (a credit against direct spending). However, CBO expects that any such sale would be conducted under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act (RPPA), which allows state or local governments to receive federal property at less than fair market value. Therefore, CBO estimates that any loss of receipts that would result from donating the property to the county or the city (rather than selling it under the RPPA) would be less than $10,000.