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City gets offer for portion of RTC

Published 11:00am Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Fergus Falls city council is entertaining an offer on part of the Regional Treatment Center, but residents will have to wait until city staff does its homework before a decision is made.

The unnamed buyer has offered a confidential sum of money for just under three acres of property on the southeast portion of the property – including six houses currently located there. The council met in closed session on Monday night to discuss the offer.

“The council has discussed it, has indicated that it wishes to give the offer some further consideration, and has instructed the staff to do its due diligence in getting an appraisal accomplished and looking at the removal process and utilities and some other matters that may have an impact on (the sale),” said City Attorney Rolf Nycklemoe. The staff will be bringing its findings back to the city at a later closed session, the date of which has yet to be determined.

City Administrator Mark Sievert could not give many details about the potential sale, but he did say that the would-be buyer hopes to create residential apartments on the property.

The city is required to sell the RTC property for fair market value, with proceeds reverting to the state. It is not certain what the appraised value of the property would be, and the final value may depend on the condition of the homes. For example, some sections of the RTC have previously been valued at a negative because the appraiser determined that they could be best used if the buildings on them were torn down, thus costing the owner more money than the property was actually worth.

In another RTC decision, the council voted to apply for a Legacy grant to fund $7,000 of the city’s marketing costs as it issues requests for proposals on the property. Community Development Director Gordon Hydukovich credited the Friends of the Kirkbride for reminding the city of the option.

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