City made good call with RTC [UPDATED]Published 9:32am Friday, June 14, 2013 Updated 11:44am Friday, June 14, 2013
The City Council entered into a letter of intent to work with development group, Historic Kirkbride, LLC at a special meeting Wednesday night, and while it might still be a little early to congratulate the city for finding a long-term solution for repurposing the Regional Treatment Center, we believe the City Council made the right decision.
The city has little to lose in working with the group. The best case scenario is that Historical Kirkbride takes over the facility and turns it into a $41 million hotel, apartment, restaurant complex that could change the face of Fergus Falls.
If the group takes over the RTC and can’t deliver on its intents, however, the city would likely be no worse off than it is now. There is a very good chance the council would be able to bring its sob story to the legislature and get its $4 million demolition funds back as part of another bonding bill if necessary.
The most important thing is that somebody is giving the RTC a try. Even if the new project doesn’t end up working out and the facility is eventually demolished, nobody can accuse the city of not giving the RTC a fair shot.
We are happy to see some movement with the RTC and remain optimistic that Historic Kirkbride will come through for everyone. The RTC has a past of flimsy promises, so we know better than to believe the latest agreement is a sure thing, but we back the Council’s decision to give the keys to Historic Kirkbride and hope the dream project can become a reality.