By Josh Moniz
NEW ULM - The New Ulm City Council will meet Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall to consider the possible acquisition of the former Budget Mar site, a tax forfeit of property being offered by Brown County.
The land, located at 15 South Broadway St., has transfered to Brown County for failure to pay taxes. An unused gas station occupies the property. The county is offering the City of New Ulm first crack at deciding whether it wants to take ownership of the land. Any choice, either way, can be accepted or denied by Brown County and the State of Minnesota.
The intent behind the offer is to maximize the value of the property for the State of Minnesota, Brown County and the City. The options being considered is whether the property will be better served as a parking lot or as business paying taxes.
It will cost the City $250 to acquire the property if the offer is accepted. Additional estimated costs, pending a decision on its use, are: $15,000 for demolition, $20,000 for fuel storage tank removal and between $25,000 and $50,000 for paving. An estimated total cost could run as high as $90,000.
The Council will also consider obtaining bids the removal and storage of the clay berm that runs along the Minnesota River.
The temporary berm was built earlier this spring as a barrier against spring flooding. The city is considering removing it in order to head off a requirement of FEMA flood relief funds that dictates the berm must be removed. The city will store the clay, and will use it again in the event of future spring flooding. The long-term plan for the material is to use it in the construction of the proposed permanent levee that is planned to run along the Minnesota River.
The cost of the removal is estimated at $350,000. It is expected that FEMA will reimburse the majority of the removal cost when funds become available.
Also, the Council will consider authorizing the City Manager to negotiate the purchase of the property at 117 South Minnesota Street.
Owner Brett Mlaskoch has offered to sell the property to the City. The land will line up with other City owned properties and allow for re-development projects in the future.
Finally, the City will give recommendations to two retiring City employees for several decades of service.
Assistant City Manager Tom MacAulay will be commended for 23 years of services with the City Administration Department. He retired on June 30, and will be joining the Peace Corp with his wife.
Also being commended is Project Engineering Inspector Mark Skodje, who served 31 years with the Engineering Department.
Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org