Appraisers say dog track is worth twice what district offeredAppraisers say St. Croix Meadows dog track is worth $16.8 million. The Board of Education will pay $8.25 million for the property if the April 3 referendum passes.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
The former St. Croix Meadows dog track is worth more than twice what the Hudson School District has offered to pay according to a Minneapolis/Eau Claire-based appraisal firm.
At the school board meeting Feb. 14, Jeffrey White of Valuation Specialists said the market value of the property is $16,800,000 based on current market conditions. The firm valued the land, which is approximately 126 acres, at $7,070,000. One of the properties used for comparison was the 64-acre site purchased by Uline for a new facility. That property sold for $5.4 million or $83,773 per acre.
The building in terms of its value to the district as a site for a new secondary school was valued at $9,730,000. That includes a 90,000 square-foot building and infrastructure that the district would be able to use including the sewer and water system as well as electrical, heating and cooling plant.
The Hudson Board of Education has entered into a purchase agreement with the owners of the track to pay $8.25 million for the property. The sale must be approved by voters in a referendum on the April 3 ballot. The sale is also contingent on the city of Hudson rezoning the property from commercial to public use.
White told board members that he was not aware that the district had a purchase agreement with the dog track owners until just before the meeting that night.
The meeting also included a report regarding the financing of the purchase. According to Brian Brewer of Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc., the district would be able to borrow up to $40 million without raising school-related property tax beyond what is due in 2012-13.
If the district does purchase the dog track, taxes would increase in 2012-13 to about $18 a year on a $200,000. With scheduled reductions, Brewer said the district’s debt would be about half of what is it now by 2017-18.
Brewer said low interest rates combined with the district’s excellent credit rating means the “timing is great for long term investment.”
The appraisal is posted on the district’s web site at www.hudson.k12.wi.us.