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County, city, ready to deal

By Staff | Mar 9, 2014

Faribault County Economic Development Authority and the city of Blue Earth are ready to seal the deal.

In order to continue making progress on the North Industrial Park project, staff from the county EDA and city of Blue Earth attended the Faribault County Commissioners meeting last Tuesday to discuss the previous purchase of wetland credits.

Kathy Baily, Blue Earth city administrator, told the commissioners the city has made an application to the state in order to move forward with the projects. However, there are additional materials required.

“We need a formal agreement with the county for the purchase of the wetland credits,” Bailey explains.

In December, the EDA and city asked the board if Blue Earth could purchase wetland credits owned by the county in order to build on the land north of Interstate 90, after they had learned it was classified as wetlands.

They needed to purchase 3.6 acres of credits in order to fulfill the requirements set forth by the state.

At the Jan. 7 County Board meeting the county agreed to sell the needed credits which amounted to $39,987 plus any additional costs associated with transferring the wetland credits.

“After the additional fees, the total comes out to more than $50,000,” Bailey says.

Then the county agreed at the January meeting to draft a written agreement to finalize the purchase.

“We have yet to see the written proposal come to the city,” Bailey says.

John Thompson, the county auditor/treasurer, assured them he and county attorney Troy Timmerman would work together and finish the requested written proposal.

The County Board also included a condition to the purchase of the credits, which involved the easement that was put in at the same time as the law enforcement center.

If the city were to make use of that particular easement in the future, they would be responsible to pay half of those costs as well.

“Well, the county needs to put together their proposal so we can get this project going,”?Ann Hanna of Faribault County Development Cooperation says. “Maybe we should draft two agreements to keep things moving.”

Hanna thought if they finished the purchase agreement right away, the county could write the agreement regarding the easement at a later date.

“I think the deal is set in stone and we’re past the negotiating point; they’re just wondering about it hindering their progress,”?commissioner Greg Young says.

Timmerman agreed and felt putting both in one agreement shows consideration of both issues.

So, it was agreed that the written agreement would be drafted and sent to the city of Blue Earth as soon as possible.

“We hope to break ground in the spring, and the business looking to move to the industrial park hopes to break ground at the same time,”?Bailey adds.

The County Board also heard from Michele Stindtman regarding the need to appoint an at-large member to the Board of Adjustments and Planning and Zoning.

The board voted for Dennis Koziolek as the at-large member for Planning and Zoning and for Duane Ehrich as the at-large member for Board of Adjustments.

Ehrich is already a member of the Board of Adjustments, but Koziolek is newly appointed.

“It will be nice to have someone free-thinking and to bring fresh blood to the board,”?Young says.

Warmka, who nominated Koziolek, says he has built a lot of buildings and will be a good addition to Planning and Zoning.