At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council agreed to pay JS Hagen Appraisal Associates $5,000 to determine the value of vacant land in the Douglas County Fairgrounds area.

Four parcels, owned by the city and the Douglas County Agricultural Association, will be appraised.

This follows through on the council’s Aug. 12 vote to get quotes for the appraisal. It’s a joint effort between the city and agricultural association, which oversees the fair and leases the land from the city, and is a necessary step to implement the Fairgrounds Area Master Plan.

Four quotes were received and the JS Hagen, based in Walker, submitted the lowest one.

The cost of the appraisal will be split between the city and the ag association.

The master plan, which keeps the fairgrounds and racetrack in their present locations, includes steps to make the entire area more attractive and usable on a year-around basis by creating additional walking and parkway areas, multi-use fields (for soccer, lacrosse, baseball and softball), an improved walking connection between the Runestone Community Center and the fairgrounds/midway, and an extensive greenway along the west edge to take advantage of the natural open space that’s there.

There would also be space near County Road 82 for private development of an on-site lodging facility and restaurant. The internal roadway system would be improved to make better and more defined connections to the public streets serving the area and would include a connection between County Road 82 (on the north) and Latoka Drive/County Road 90 (on the south). This would provide a new access point to Douglas County Public Works.

Gambling permits issued

In other action not covered in other stories about Monday’s meeting, the council issued three charitable gambling permits – United Way of Douglas and Pope Counties to sell raffles at the Alexandria Armory on Nov. 13; Alexandria Red Line Hockey Booster Club to conduct bingo at the Broadway Ballroom on Oct. 25; and Alexandria Red Line Hockey Booster Club to sell raffles at the Runestone Community Center on Dec. 5.