The Fergus Falls Port Authority met in open session for a short time Monday evening before going into a closed meeting to discuss real estate negotiations.

Interim Port Authority Executive Director Andrew Bremseth briefed members on a Department of Employment and Economic Development loan of $851,510 for use in improving the former Mid-Am Dairy site which has been city property since the last day of 2018.

“We now have to negotiate the terms if that is something the Port Authority is wishing to proceed with,” Bremseth said. “We met as a negotiating committee last week. The consensus of that group was to wait and see what happens with the other application.”

The other application was the revolving loan fund which was even more favorable terms. It made sense to wait until we hear back on that opportunity.”

Brent Thompson updated the group on where the second loan stands, pointing out that the Port Authority would really like to announce the news that the project is going forward at the April 30 State of the City address in the Kennedy Secondary School auditorium. Thompson told the Port Authority members he would hope to be able to give the group positive news before April 30.

The Port Authority then turned its attention to scheduling a work session retreat.

“It would really be nice to have 90 minutes or a couple hours of time or more to get together outside of this formal setting,” Bremseth said. “What the group wants to do, what direction they want to go, what powers they have.”

Bremseth also pointed out that Port Authority member, Karoline Gustafson is going to be participating in interviews in the future toward hiring a community development director, who will also be executive director of the Port Authority. Gustafson thought it would be helpful to have some discussions before the interviews.

The idea of bringing in a consultant to help the group find the full range of their powers was floated and discussed.

Port Authority chair, Anthony Hicks put the scheduling of the retreat in Bremseth’s hands. The retreat is tentatively scheduled for a date between April 15 and the first week of May.

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