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Will Little Giants playground have to move?

By Staff | Apr 12, 2015

The members of the Blue Earth Economic Development Authority (EDA) found out there might be an additional expense involved in owning the Ag Center complex which they had not figured on.

The cost of moving the Little Giants playground to a new location.

At their early Thursday morning EDA meeting last week, the members were surprised to learn that they do not own all of the land the playground is situated on.

The Little Giants Child Care Center is located in the center part of the Ag Center complex and the city of Blue Earth has owned that property for several years. However, the playground area is located on the very north end of the Ag Center and the EDA members, who recently received the rest of the Ag Center buildings as a gift from Bevcomm, thought the land the playground is on was included as part of the deal.

“The majority of the playground is over the (property) line,” Blue Earth city administrator Tim Ibisch told the EDA members. “That land is owned by Brad Hinrichsen of Hinrichsen Construction and he wants the playground moved.” Or, Ibisch adds, he wants the EDA to pay rent for the property. The city had offered $50 per month but Hinrichsen wants $250 per month, Ibisch explained.

The EDA board discussed various options for new locations for the playground, including moving it to the west between the north end of the Ag Center and the Huntington Barbershop, as well as two locations behind the Ag Center, to the east. Those locations, however, would involve children having to cross traffic lanes in the alley behind the Ag Center.

After much discussion, the EDA members voted to pay the $250 per month rent for just two months, while working with the Little Giants administration to decide where to move the playground.

In other business at last Thursday’s meeting, the EDA also voted to hire a full-time maintenance person at the Ag Center to take care of all cleaning and daily maintenance duties. The salary and benefits would come to $38,633 per year.

The City Council will have to approve the decision to create the new position at their next council meeting.

The EDA board also appointed one of its members, Blue Earth mayor Rick Scholtes, to be a city and EDA representative on the hiring committee for a new director of the Faribault County Economic Development Corporation (FCDC).

FCDC is hired by the city and the city’s EDA to operate as the economic director for Blue Earth. The contract is for $50,000 per year for the service.