homepage logo

Wells EDA discusses sales of three lots

By Staff | Nov 24, 2019

Construction work continues on the new Wells Liquor Depot building in Wells. The new municipal liquor store is owned by the city of Wells, however, the Wells Economic Development Authority owns the building as it has been used as the EDA’s incubator building. The city will basically be leasing the space from the EDA.

Having had to postpone their monthly meeting on Nov. 14 due to lack of a quorum, the Wells Economic Development Authority (EDA) was able to have their November meeting last Wednesday but just barely with three of their five members present.

The top item on the agenda was the proposed sale of three lots in the new Wells Business Park.

One lot was to a previous interested business, and two of the lots could be sold to a company which wishes to remain anonymous.

AMB Properties (Ron’s Plumbing owner Amos Boeck) previously had a purchase agreement on one lot in the business park, but had withdrawn because of another potential building purchase.

However, that other building purchase did not happen and AMB Properties now wants to extend their option on the lot.

“The purchase agreement on the lot expired,” said Wells city administrator CJ Holl. “And we never did have a signed development agreement. But we did do a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) District for the lot.”

Holl added that creation of the TIF District had a cost attached to it, about $10,000.

“And it will have a continuing cost, about $2,000 per year,” Holl said. “I have been advised that if we are not going to use the TIF District, it would be better to dissolve it.”

After much discussion, the EDA board decided to ask Boeck to sign a new purchase agreement, and ask for $1,000 earnest money. They also decided to keep the TIF District in place at least until the end of the year. EDA chairman Brad Heggen, who is also a realtor, will do the work to get the new purchase agreement in place.

The other possible sale included lots four and five in the new business park. Heggen reported that an established business is making an offer on the two lots, but they wish to remain anonymous, even from the EDA board members. Several board members questioned that approach.

“I am not sure we can vote on this without enough information as to who it is and what the business is,” EDA member Lauren Schuster said.

The board members discussed having a discussion of the proposal for purchase during a closed session, which is allowed by state law. That would keep the name of the buyers from being public. Chairman Heggen said he would approach the potential buyers with that proposal.

“They would not be doing anything with the lots for two years,” Heggen explained. “That is the reason they don’t want it known at this time.”

Holl had some more input for the board members.

“It is partly the way the EDA works,” he said. “But at the end of the day, after the frustration and negotiation, you could get two businesses on these three lots.”

The purchase options are expected to be back on the agenda for the EDA’s Dec. 12 meeting.

In other business at the meeting, the EDA board:

Heard an update on the progress of creating more child care facilities in Wells. The EDA learned there are at least three persons interested in starting a child bucare business.

“We have more interest than space,” Heggen said. “Which is a good problem to have.”

Heard an update on the progress of the new liquor store building, which is the former EDA owned incubator building. The city will be leasing the building from the EDA after all the remodeling work is done.