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The land is finally swapped

By Staff | Apr 14, 2013

It’s finally official.

The year-long negotiation for swapping land between the city of Blue Earth and the Faribault County Fair Board is over.

At a special meeting on Wednesday night, the City Council voted unanimously in favor of a land tranference ordinance that would give the fair board a 3.161 acre parcel of land that includes the area of the Veterans Building, the grandstand and the southern part of the former go kart track.

In exchange, the fair board agreed at their meeting Tuesday night to give the city 1.92 acres of land that comprises Giant Park and where the Green Giant statue stands.

Fair board president Daryl Murray says the vote to make the swap with the city was not unanimous by the board, but called it a good majority.

“Some of those opposed wondered why the fair board needed to own any of the fairgrounds, since we have the right to use it for the fair anyway,” Murray explained.

Several items were added to the agreement which was authorized by the council at their 30 minute Wednesday meeting.

First, the city has the right to use part of the property they are deeding to the fair board as part of a possible ball field.

The fair board has the right to use all of a baseball outfield during the fair.

The outfield fence will be removable.

“Section 3 of this document is a license granted to the city to put up temporary fencing on this property they have just given to the fair board, which will be removed before the fair,” City Attorney David Frundt explained.

Mayor Rick Scholtes pointed out another change. “The city agrees that we will not build any kind of permanent structure within 40 feet of the new property line,” he says. “That way the fair board can always use the outfield area during the fair.”

Murray said it sounded like the two entities were agreeing to be able to use each other’s property, and Scholtes agreed that was exactly right.

There were some other agreements reached on Wednesday, dealing with the land swap.

After some discussion, the city agreed to have the fair board begin leveling the ground of all the former go kart track area.

The council also agreed to give the go kart track fencing and three small buildings to the fair board to use.

One other topic of discussion was having each entity give the other the first right of refusal if either decides to sell their piece of property.