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W’bago council still stumped on duplex sale

By Staff | Oct 29, 2017

The Winnebago City Council held a special meeting on Thursday, Oct. 26. The goal of the special meeting was to pass a resolution for the long awaited sale of the two city-owned city duplexes located on Second Avenue SW and Fifth Street SW. Buyer Robert Richards had originally agreed to purchase the duplexes from the city for $220,000.

During the meeting, there was a 30-minute closed session in which no action was taken. When the public portion of the meeting resumed, a motion was carried to extend consideration of the sale to Dec. 15, 2017.

After the meeting, and with no resolution in sight, Winnebago city administrator Chris Ziegler expressed his displeasure with the latest development.

“I’m very concerned. We started in May, and we were led to believe it would be resolved by September,” said Ziegler. “Now we’re starting over from scratch basically.”

Part of the original purchase agreement was the buyer, Richards, would assume the loan ($179,360) between the city of Winnebago and the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.

The loan featured an interest rate of zero percent with a balloon payment due by April 2, 2025. However, the MHFA has informed the city this proposal poses more credit risk to the agency.

“I’m really frustrated at this point because they won’t give us any kind of guidelines or information,” Ziegler continued. “All they are saying is that it won’t work the way it is now. So we have to make another attempt and then they have to run it through their committees before they get back to us; we’re basically playing volleyball right now.”