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Sisters go up for sale

May 14, 2017
Chuck Hunt - Register Editor (chunt@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register
The Blue Earth Economic Development Authority (EDA) voted Thursday morning to proceed with a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Three Sisters buildings in downtown Blue Earth. And, after making a few changes in the wording of the RFP, they decided not to waste another minute and get the RFP sent out as soon as possible. In fact, they suggested that later that same day would be great. The members of the EDA also told Tim Clawson of the Faribault County Economic Development Corporation (FCDC) that they would like the buildings cleared just as fast as possible. Just one hour after the meeting adjourned at 8:30 a.m. last Thursday, members of the Sentenced to Serve group were in the Three Sisters buildings cleaning and clearing out junk to a dumpster parked outside. And a pipe organ afficionado and his helpers were starting to dismantle the large organ that had been upstairs of two of the Sisters buildings, in the former Masonic Lodge. The flurry of activity was not actually in response to the EDA meeting earlier that morning, Clawson pointed out. “We already had scheduled the Sentence to Serve group to come help clean,” he said. “Also the removal of the organ.” Jim Hamann, of Iowa Falls, Iowa, purchased the organ from the city for $500. He said it will take several days to get it taken apart and moved out. The subject of the Three Sisters buildings dominated the EDA meeting last Thursday. Much of the discussion had to do with the RFP and the cleanup. And the EDA members definitely wanted to get both things moving along. The EDA decided to start sending out the RFP to potential buyers immediately. They also set a response time to return any proposals as June 12. Next, they changed their June meeting date to June 15. The City Council would have to make a final approval of the sale at their June 19 meeting. And finally, they selected three members to serve on a subcommittee to look at all the RFP applications, before that June 15 meeting, and choose the best three of them – should there be four or more interested parties. Those committee members are Kara Drake, John Huisman and Bill Rosenau. The RFP is nine pages long and details information on Blue?Earth and the Three Sisters buildings, as well as the requirements for the usage of the building(s) and other stipulations. Clawson had earlier in the meeting suggested he would be checking with the county as far as the disposal of the many old pianos still in the buildings – which were not sold at a recent auction. Technically, the pianos and all the other personal property in the buildings belonged to the county, even though the county had sold the buildings themselves to the city. “I think we need to move forward with this cleanup just as quickly as we can,” councilman and EDA member John Huisman said. “The county obviously does not have any interest in this anymore. Throw it all out.” Mayor Rick Scholtes, also a member of the EDA, agreed with Huisman. “I also don’t see the logic of moving all the pianos into one building, then later moving them all out again to get rid of them. Move them one time, now, and get them out of there.” The EDA members discussed various options of what to do with the pianos, including throwing them away, or scraping them out or burning them all. Their final decision seemed to be burning them, after EDA member Daryl Pommeranke said he knew of a place where it could be done. The EDA also heard an update from Clawson concerning the ELM Homes project and duplexes to be built on 14th Street.

Article Photos

Jim Hamann, pictured at right, above, purchased the large organ in the upstairs (former Masonic Lodge) of one of the Three Sisters buildings. Hamann is pictured with his two helpers and the three are dismantling and removing the organ this week.

 
 

 

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