Corcoran discusses buying downtown properties

The Corcoran City Council discussed a potential purchase of downtown property that could be redeveloped for commercial use.

The council also discussed a potential possession of a 37-acre wetland mitigation site.

 

DOWNTOWN

The council heard an update about a condemned building at County Rds. 50 and 10 related to a potential city buyout.

The building’s owners are seeking help because they can’t afford the $27,000 demolition cost.

“We want to know the property value, the cost of demolition. Is it worth pursuing?” city administrator Dan Donahue later said. “The council is looking at that.”

Donahue shared photos of surrounding properties that could tie into a redevelopment site. He told the council that the city property and two adjoining properties combine for a total of 1.19 acres, and that the value of the property is potentially $105,000 minus the demolition cost. A tax increment financing (TIF) fund could most likely be used if there is a desire for the city to purchase the property for redevelopment, he said.

The site is zoned for commercial use. The city also owns a nearby parcel.

Donahue said any potential city purchase could be tied to whether sewer is extended to downtown. That decision is still being ironed out between the city and downtown property owners.

“The city is still deciding whether to extend sewer into the downtown area,” he said. “That would impact the decision. The council will be looking at this again in spring.”

The condemned building’s owners have not been given a deadline for demolishing the building.

“There’s no particular hurry,” Donahue said. “The building is boarded up. Sometime next summer we should have a decision.”

 

WETLAND SITE

In other news, the council continued discussion about a potential city possession of a 37-acre wetland holding area by Old Settlers Road in south Corcoran.

Ken Streeter, representing Ryan Companies, was present to discuss whether the city would be interested in owning the site at no cost. Ryan Companies used the site for wetland mitigation related to construction of the Maple Grove Hospital.

“Now that Ryan fulfilled its obligations for wetland mitigation, they want to walk away from the property,” administrator Donahue said. “They would be willing to give it to the city.”

The council wants to know what the city’s obligations would be, such as for property maintenance and weed control. The park board has said the site is not usable for parks activity other than a passive trail. Purchasing the site would also mean losing a tax-paying parcel.

The council made no decision. The city engineer was directed to look at topographical drawings and elevations, and the council will revisit the matter at its next meeting.

In other action, the council:

CONDUCTED the annual budget hearing. Only one resident was present with questions at the hearing. The council is expected to approve the final 2013 budget and levy at its next meeting Thursday, Dec. 20 (Dec. 27 meeting rescheduled due to Christmas).

HEARD that the city’s first-ever water service would officially be ready for use after Jan. 1, following testing. Sewer lift stations would be completed in July; meaning sewer should be ready by about the beginning of fall.

HEARD that the design for the new public works facility is still underway, but that bidding packages should be ready by Feb. 1.

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