The Fergus Falls Port Authority elected to take its first steps into a new reality Monday afternoon at City Hall.
The Port Authority Board voted in favor of a public comment notice for the Mid-Am Dairy Cleanup work and establish a community relations plan for the project.
After listening to Steve Ericksson of the Downtown Riverfront Council give a dairy site project update and identify potential sources of funding, which could increase the value of the 29-acre property along the Otter Tail River to $2.5 million, the Port Authority began to set a course.
Board member Rebecca Petersen queried Ericksson about where the board would find itself if it started the process.
“So Steve, you’re recommending we go ahead and do this but we’re not ready to sign anything,” Petersen asked.
Ericksson replied: “I am sure how to say this politically correct but I wouldn’t do anything until the last document is there.”
City Administrator Andrew Bremseth and City Finance Director Bill Sonmor answered questions about how city staff could help the Port Authority move the process along but it was Chairman Anthony Hicks who challenged the members to begin looking at the dairy project in a new way.
“Now it’s looking like a reality,” Hicks said. “Before it was a potential dream.”
The Port Authority also approved the recommendation of entering into an agreement with the Lake Country Services Cooperative for third party asbestos removal services at the former Army Reserve Building.
The Port Authority has purchased the building earlier this year and will be leasing it to the LCSC for use as a Level IV learning center.