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City gets title, grant for Little Lukes new site

By Staff | Apr 14, 2008

Its official. The City of Blue Earth now owns the building in the Ag Center that the Little Lukes Daycare will move into. It’s also official that the city did receive the grant for remodeling that building.

City Administrator Ben Martig told the council that the property title has been transferred to the city, which was given free of cost to the city by a subsidiary of BEVCOMM, Inc., in Blue Earth.

Martig also said that a $50,000 grant from the USDA has been awarded to the city. The money will be used for remodeling the building into a child care center.

The city has also received verbal confirmation that they will be getting a $180,000 loan from USDA as well, Martig said.

“It is a 15 year loan at no more than a 4.375 percent interest rate,” Martig said. “It could be less than that, but it won’t be more.”

A third piece of the project was also discussed by Martig; that was the lease of the building to the school. “We have made a few revisions in it,” he told the council.

Some of those revisions have to do with what happens at the end of the lease. “We now have provisions that the school could not renew the lease if there is no longer a need to have the building,” Martig explained. “Or they could purchase the building for whatever amount the city has in it, that has not been reimbursed through the lease.”

One other option would be for the city to continue full ownership of it at the end of the lease and possibly sell it if it was not to be used as a daycare.

“The school could also purchase it at any time if they wished,” Martig said. “Our goal is to help develop quality child care in the city, and to cover our costs; its not for the city to reap profits off the school.”

Martig said that a timeline for the project includes the school board taking action on the lease at their April 14th meeting. “I don’t expect you to formally commit (to the lease) tonight, but at the next meeting,” he said.

The lease has a monthly rent figure of $1,365.97 which the school would pay to the city. Martig said that the concept at this time is to have a figure listed, but that the final figure would be adopted after the project is done. “We would agree that it could be amended or revised after the final numbers are known.” Drainage Issue

A problem with flooding behind some homes on North Circle Drive caused a disagreement as to a solution.

Resident Ron Krieger explained how water ponds up behind his home and creates a stream between his home and his neighbor.

City Councilman Glen Gaylord suggested installing a drain system and connect to the storm sewer system. “I think this would be an inexpensive solution,” he said. “Keep it simple, problem resolved, people are happy,” he said.

Administrator Martig questioned whether the city would pay for the whole project. “I think we would need to assess it, or else it would set a precedent if we do a project like this on private property,” he said.

Gaylord said he thought that the city should get some bids on the work first, to see how much it would be.

“If we are only talking about a couple of thousand it wouldn’t be worth assessing,” he said.

The council okayed getting some quotes on the work, but Mayor Rob Hammond pointed out that it didn’t mean that the council was committing to paying for the work.

Other business

In other business at last week’s meeting, the city council:

• Purchased a lot near the ball fields from Watonwan Farm Services for $10,000.

• Okayed annexation of the land that the new law enforcement center is being built on.

• Okayed a job description and pay range for a new position of building inspector.

• Okayed new sewer rates, and building permits rates.