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Sale close, but not quite there

By Staff | Jan 13, 2019

It was last summer when Janie Hanson, pictured here in front of the Three Sisters buildings, was working with the city of Blue Earth and the EDA on the purchase of the empty structures. The deal could now be completed in March.

While the decision to move forward with the sale of the Three Sisters buildings in Blue Earth from the city and its economic development authority (EDA), to the Rural Renaissance Project (RRP) group was made last month, the final change in ownership is still a month or two away.

At last Thursday morning’s EDA meeting, members of the board discussed the transfer of title with Janie Hanson of RRP.

Hanson and the EDA went over some of the language in the draft of a development agreement which would be in addition to the actual deed transfer.

There are a multiple of items in the draft document, but most of the discussion centered on language dealing with RRP having one year to have basic construction such as electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning completed.

Then, they would be given three years to have the buildings operational, with something or some business going on inside.

Hanson said the terms were reasonable.

“We do plan on starting on Phase 1 right away,” Hanson said. “Phase 1 involves work on all three buildings but concentrates on the larger (southern one) first.”

And that includes heat, air, plumbing and electrical, and some external work as well, she explained.

City administrator Tim?Ibisch said he expected the document to be completed and voted on by the City Council at their Jan. 22 meeting.

Hanson suggested a date of March 14 for the actual closing and transfer of documents.

“We are working on our financing and loan documents so there are paper work things we want to do before the closing,” she explained. “We will be meeting with contractors in February and would be looking for mid-March construction start.”

Ibisch said he felt the EDA still was committed to giving RRP a $50,000 grant for each building, or a total of $150,000. EDA members agreed.

In other business at the EDA meeting, board members heard an update on the OPS Center (formerly Innate Wellness Center) from Arron Kalis.

OPS was the EDA’s monthly Business Spotlight awardee.

Kalis detailed the name change came about a few months ago and stands for Optimal Performance Specialists.

He also reported that he and his partner, Jordan Stensland, are also operating a chiropractic clinic in Mapleton, as well as the one in Blue Earth.

Kalis thanked the EDA board for what they do, and noted they have taken advantage of two of their loan programs in the past.

In other business, the EDA board:

Looked over the Ag Center financials and approved the purchase of a roof top air unit at a cost of $11,360.

This is the fifth year the EDA has had ownership of the Ag Center, and the City Council had authorized owning it for five years and then do a re-evaluation.

Decided against a purchase of land north of the current housing development known as the Domes property.

Discussed several different types of signage, but did not take action at this time. The board considered billboard signs on the south edge of Blue Earth as well as along I-90 near Alden and Fairmont or Jackson. The signs would promote the Golden Spike Business Park and the new housing development area.

A larger sign than the one currently in place at the Golden Spike Business Park was also discussed.

Goals for the 2019 year were also discussed, as were changes in the language of loan documents.