Owner of vacant building proposes Albertville buy site

Albertville City Attorney Mike Couri, left, congratulates Wright County Commissioner Elect and Albertville resident Mike Potter after Potter was sworn into office at the recent Albertville City Council meeting. Potter is former Albertville mayor and businessman, and is Albertville’s first county commissioner.

Albertville City Attorney Mike Couri, left, congratulates Wright County Commissioner Elect and Albertville resident Mike Potter after Potter was sworn into office at the recent Albertville City Council meeting. Potter is former Albertville mayor and businessman, and is Albertville’s first county commissioner.

The owner of the vacant former L & D Trucking Building in Albertville has approached the city council to see if the city would be interested in purchasing the site.

The building was previously identified as a possibility to expand the neighboring STMA Ice Arena, but the city ultimately opted out.

City planner Al Brixius told the council that city staff and the building’s owner, Diane Vinge, have been working to place a tenant at the building on 11800 61st St. The prospective business, a well and irrigation company, instead ended up locating in Sherburne County.

“With the departure of the prospective business, Ms. Vinge has inquired as to whether the city would be interested in acquiring the property for $675,000 with the opportunity to pay for the property over time,” Brixius wrote in his memo to the council. “City staff has indicated that the purchase of this property is not within the city’s budget or planning, but we would bring Ms. Vinge’s request before the city council.”

Brixius listed the following key issues:

1. Past discussions with the hockey association and partner cities indicate that they would not contribute to the acquisition of more land for the Ice Arena, as such the purchase would fall exclusively to Albertville.

2. The city has considered this land purchase in the past and determined it was not in the position to acquire the property.

3. This land purchase has not been considered in the preparation of the city’s budget or capital improvement planning; as such the city would need to identify a funding source if this purchase would proceed.

4. The L&D Trucking site would contribute to the Ice Arena expansion with regard to land area and parking. This lot is 2-plus acres in area and would also provide a redevelopment site for future commercial development.

5. The current proposal is a request from the property owner for the city to consider the purchase at a specific price and with a purchase over time to avoid large upfront city expenditure.

Reached later, Brixius said, “Those key issues are the things the city council has to look at to determine if they would proceed or what they would do. The council didn’t want to say no but directed staff to look at pros and cons of buying this property.”

He said the council wants staff to look at what’s available to the city as far as long-term financing, if the price would be negotiable, and what are the annual costs.

“We’ll be coming back to the council either in January or February,” he said. “Things need to be explored further.”