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Is Three Sisters a done deal or not?

By Staff | Mar 10, 2019

The sale of the Three Sisters buildings in downtown Blue Earth took another big step towards being completed.

At a short, half-hour regular meeting last Monday night, the Blue Earth City Council adopted Ordinance No. 19-04, which conveyed ownership of the three Main Street buildings from the city to Project 3 Sisters, LLC, for the purchase price of $3, or $1 per building.

The city of Blue Earth, by the City Charter, can only buy or sell property by means of passing an ordinance.

The sale is not quite complete, however, despite passing the ordinance Monday night.

The ordinance does not become effective until 30 days after it is passed and published in the official city newspaper, the Faribault County Register.

City administrator Tim Ibisch said this 30 day period gives any citizen the time to comment on the sale, if they wish to.

In addition, the city and Project 3 Sisters, LLC, still need to each sign a 13-page Commercial Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement which spells out the details and requirements of the sale.

The council learned at the Monday night meeting that the city’s economic development authority (EDA), had voted on Feb. 22, to lessen some of the restrictions of the agreement. The EDA members stated the Project 3 Sisters group should only be required to install a heating/ventilation/air conditioning unit and paint or repair the south wall in 18 months. All other project timeline stipulations were removed.

One of the stipulations had to do with having some parts of the building being used and in operation in 36 months. However, the EDA felt there was no definition as what exactly had to be done.

“I like that idea,” councilman Glenn Gaylord said, referring to removing all of the other stipulations. Gaylord, as vice-mayor, was running the meeting in the absence of Mayor Rick Scholtes.

“We just don’t want to put up any stops in the way for them to get things done,” councilman John Huisman said. “We talked about fixing up the front of the buildings, but if Janie (Hanson) and her group (Project 3 sisters, LLC) fix up the insides of the buildings, I am sure they will want to fix up the outsides as well.”

The council agreed to the changes in the purchase and sale agreement. Now when the document is signed by both parties, the sale will be complete.

In other business, the council:

Heard another case of a dog biting a citizen, with a decision to be made whether to designate the animal as a potentially dangerous dog or not.

This case involved a visitor to a residence in Blue Earth being bitten inside the home. The person went to UHD Clinic for treatment for the bite, and it was reported to the police.

“I think the dog was just protecting its domain,” Gaylord said. “I don’t think we should take action on this.”

Other council members agreed, saying it was inside a home on private property, not a loose dog on the streets.

City attorney David Frundt did point out the council does have the right to take action on an animal bite inside a home if it is reported to the police. However, the council declined to take any action.

The dog owners were cited for not having the animal licensed with the city, however.

Approved liquor, beer, wine, tobacco and garbage hauling licenses for the year.

Councilman Huisman brought up a proposal for changing the minimum age for tobacco purchase from 18 up to 21. He said 25 cities in Minnesota have increased the age requirement.

The matter was added to the work session at the next City Council meeting on March 18.

Approved travel requests for training purposes for both the police and fire departments.

Approved a contract with Mosquito Control of Iowa for 2019 summer mosquito spraying at a cost of $15,200 for the season.