Though an offer was made for 61 acres of land the city owns near the Brainerd Regional Human Services Center, a decision on the sale was deferred until the Sept. 15 city council meeting.
The Brainerd City Council Tuesday received a purchase agreement of $810,000 from River Vista Development for the property. Though the Brainerd Economic Development Authority approved the sale at its Aug. 28 meeting, a few council members Tuesday said there were too many unknowns involved in the sale.
"My argument was I personally think this offer is too low at $810,000," said council member Bob Olson. The purchase of the 61 acres at $810,000 equate to about $13,278 per acre. "$13,000 in my mind is not enough money. I don't think we'd be doing a service to the taxpayers."
The city bought the state land in February for $680,800. The council in June set the price of the land at $150,000 per acre plus the cost of utilities.
Olson noted that the land on which Jack's House, a bowling alley being constructed nearby, sold for $35,000 per acre and in Baxter's Industrial Park land was selling for $69,000 per acre.
Council member Lucy Nesheim noted that the 61 acres of land would be a bulk sale, not just a two- or three-acre purchase.
Other questions about the 61 acres being included if it should be placed in the JOBZ program, what would be done with the BMX track, what would be developed on the property and how the infrastructure would be paid for. City Administrator Dan Vogt noted that if a private developer buys the land, paying for infrastructure is up to them.
The council also was presented with a letter from Steve Torborg, owner of Torborg Builders in St. Cloud, who stated he was interested in inspecting the property for purchase and development.
The city council unanimously approved waiting until its Sept. 15 meeting to make any decision regarding the city-owned land.
In other action, the council:
Approved by a 4-3 vote, with council member Gary Scheeler abstaining and Mayor James Wallin casting the deciding vote, to notify the contractor doing work at the highways 18 and 25 intersection that seeding and mulching has to be done within seven days or the city would go to its bond counsel for resolution. Voting against the motion were council members Olson, Kelly Bevans and Lucy Nesheim. Olson said the contractor had contacted him and said work was being ordered that wasn't in the project specifications. He said the contractor should have a chance to speak before the city council and asked that the decision be delayed until the council's Sept. 15 meeting.
Informed the public that the nuisance complaint process requires a signed nuisance complaint form to be filled out at city hall. City hall had received several complaints anonymously. The name on the form will be private.
Adopted a resolution ordering in improvements for Fifth Avenue and B Street, but rejected bids for Fifth Avenue, B Street and Hawkins Drive to be rebid in January or February.
Held the first reading on a proposed ordinance setting park dedication fees at $500 per buildable lot for single dwellings, $500 per unit in double or multiple dwellings and $1,000 per acre or 5 percent of the fair market value for commercial, industrial and business development.
Approved a liquor license transfer for the Log Cabin Bar and Restaurant from Honest Effort Inc. to T.J.'s Long Cabin Inc.
Approved renting space to 1000 Friends of Minnesota in the former Senior Center at a cost of $1,485 per year.
Selected Larson, Allen, Weishair & Co. for the 2003 city audit for $34,950.
Approved the sale of a lot in the Brainerd Industrial Park to Edina Technical Products at a cost of $39,000.
Adopted resolution approving plans and authorizing advertisement for bids for the Wonderland Park Road improvement project by a 6-1 vote, with council member Bevans voting against the resolution.
Appointed Jan Lambert to the Cable Advisory Committee to a term to expire Jan. 1, 2006.
Called for applicants for the Library Board to expire Jan. 1, 2004.
Adjourned to a special meeting 7 p.m. on Monday to discuss the city's budget.
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