Friday, August 22, 2003

Iowa city is willed
Big Island land

A woman left cash and a plot
of land to a Midwestern town

BOONE, Iowa >> The city of Boone is preparing to auction off a piece of paradise left to its citizens in a woman's will.

The biggest advantage is its scenic view of the Hawaiian oceanfront from 5,000 feet up. The disadvantages are that to get water the owner has to collect rain, solar power is the only available electricity and it could be prone to lava flows.

The 1-acre Big Isle plot is about six blocks from electricity and plumbing services, said Brent Trout, Boone city administrator.

Boone received the land in August 2000 from Mary Garvey, who left the city $1.15 million in her will, including the thin slice of Hawaiian property.

The parcel is in Kau's Hawaiian Oceanview Estates subdivision, which has homes within its boundaries that are already occupied or being built.

"There are other lots in that very same subdivision that are very nice, some selling for up to $25,000," Trout said. "This lot we have is considered just a pencil lot, with a very small frontage. Since it's at the top elevation, it would be very desirable for some."

Anyone interested in buying the land can submit a bid to the city by Sept. 12. The Boone city council plans to review bids on Sept. 15. Bidding starts at $3,500. The land is assessed at $3,200.

The Lava II Zone designation likely limits interest. The most recent lava flow that damaged land in the development was in the early 1900s.


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