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April auction for items at Three Sisters

By Staff | Feb 10, 2017

It is official.

All of the items inside the “Three Sisters” buildings on Blue Earth’s Main Street will be up for auction on Saturday, April 22, at 10 a.m.

At their meeting last Thursday morning, the Blue Earth Economic Development Authority agreed to a contract with Wagner Auctioneers of Blue Earth to conduct the sale.

Most of the items are old pianos and organs, and parts of old pianos and organs, which have been in the buildings for years, when the stores were used for a musical instrument repair shop and music museum.

While the city has now taken ownership of the three buildings from the county, the county had retained ownership of the items stored inside. And a waiting period for people to claim ownership of the items has now expired.

“We have had a discussion with the County Board and come to an agreement about the sale of the items,” Tim Clawson of Faribault County Development Corporation explained. “They have agreed that we can conduct the auction sale and we can have the proceeds and use them to help pay for the recent improvements the EDA has made to the buildings.”

Clawson added that they plan to have a walk through the buildings with the auctioneers soon, as well as having a musical instrument expert come in to appraise what is there.

“We really don’t know what these items are worth,” Clawson said. “There are dozens of pianos and six or more organs there, and a lot of parts. Maybe it is all worth $5,000, maybe it is worth a lot more.”

The EDA also asked about the future plans for the three buildings. Clawson said it has been his feeling that the EDA wants to get the buildings into private ownership as quickly as possible.

“We have done some necessary repairs (to the roof and replaced windows), but I don’t know how much more we should do, if we want to sell that as is,” Clawson said. “If they don’t sell within a year or six months, then you will have to decide what else we should do with them.”

In other business at last Thursday’s meeting the EDA board:

Heard an update on the new Ag Center sign that should be going into place soon, within a week or two.

Clawson said the concrete footings for the sign were poured last week.

The EDA members also authorized the final payment on the Ag Center and Fitness Center parking lot projects. It will now get the final OK from the City Council.

Final cost was $262,941.

Received an annual EDA report for 2016 listing, among other things, all of the projects for the past year.

The long list included 30 Commercial Exterior Renovation Grants to businesses to fix up their buildings, four Revolving Loan Fund loans to businesses and four Downtown Construction Mitigation Loans.

Other loans and grants went towards helping current and new businesses, including Cedar Inn, Elm Homes, Jake’s Body Shop, Simplified Ag Technology and the Chamber of Commerce for purchase and demo of an old building.