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Progress on Three Sisters sale – Click here for details

By Staff | Jun 19, 2018

The sale of the Three Sisters buildings to a group called the Rural Renaissance Project took a couple more steps towards becoming reality during action at last night’s Blue Earth City Council meeting.

The council voted unanimously to adopt a development agreement with the Rural Renaissance group.

And, they had a first reading of an ordinance that could eventually transfer ownership of the three buildings in downtown Blue Earth at a cost of $1 per building to Rural Renaissance.

The development agreement spells out the responsibilities of the Rural Renaissance group, including having them raise $1 million in 90 days as a good faith gesture to show they can do what they are proposing for the downtown buildings.

The final sale of the buildings could happen after the second reading of the property transfer ordinance, which would happen at the council’s July 2 meeting.

According to Blue Earth’s City Charter, sale of land or buildings by the city can only happen by passage of a city ordinance.

Janie Hanson, a representative of Rural Renaissance, told the council she was comfortable with the stipulation of raising the $1 million, but the timing may be a problem.

“We will begin our fundraising with a kickoff at Giant Days,” she said. “We needed something in writing to show those who are planning on donating that we will be getting the buildings.”

In other business at Monday night’s meeting, the council:

Accepted the sale of $4.075 million in General Obligation Bonds that will be used for financing various public improvement projects in the city, including a new Public Works building, a current street improvement project and a housing development.

The interest rate on the bonds was at 3.27 percent.

Held a closed session to conduct the review of city administrator Tim Ibisch.

After the closed session, Mayor Rick Scholtes reported that the council reviewed the administrator’s performance in 11 different categories, from organizational skills to technology ability.

Ibisch received an average score from the council across all 11 categories of 8.89 on a scale of 1 to 10. It was the same score the administrator had received last year.

“We are very happy to have Tim as our administrator,” Mayor Scholtes said. “We look forward to having him working for us for many years to come.”

For a more in depth version of this story, see this weekend’s Faribault County Register.