NEW ULM - The New Ulm City Council approved a conditional use permit to allow Eric Bode to open a real estate office in the former Weeds and Reeds building at 5th North Street and Broadway.
Bode, owner of BoCo Real Estate, has a purchase agreement to buy the property from John and Kathryn Schladweiler.
The building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was originally built as a service station, and has a unique architectural design. The towers on its two ends are designed to resemble windmills.
The city determined the application complies with all criteria in the city code, and will be a less intensive use of the property than either a service station or a specialty store. Its parking variance will require it to provide seven parking spaces, down from the 23 spaces required before.
In other business, the council approved the 2014 Capital Improvement program, which will reconstruct deficient roadways, alleyways, and utilities segments within the city. The projects include 2.5 miles of roadway and three alleys. The cost of the improvements is estimated at $6,973,644, with a bonding need of $3,030,745.44.
The list improvements includes Franklin Street from 6th South Street to 10th South Street; portions of 2nd North Street, Linden Street and 3rd North Street west of Garden Street, and 12th North Street from Broadway to State Street.
These projects will involve reconstruction of the sanitary and storm sewers, and water mains, and road reconstruction.
Reconstruction of roadways will take place on Garden Street from Center to 8th South, and 8th South Street from Garden Street to Payne Street.
The Sarah Hills Third Addition will receive water and sewer utilities installation and aggregate base on several roads. The subdivision is creating 10 residential building lots.
A list of projects and a map of current New Ulm streets and their condition ratings will be available on the city's web site, www.ci.new-ulm.mn.us.
The council approved a contract with Braun Intertec Corp. to do a soil vapor diffusion assessment and prepare a work plan for the property the city is selling to Eagle Development, which is planning to build apartments between First South and Second South streets on Minnesota Street.
An environmental site assessment on the property, which at one time had fuel tanks on the site, found soil and ground water contaminated with gasoline-range organics, and volatile organic compounds that were most likely left by a dry cleaning and rug cleaning business.
Braun Intertec is being hired to determine what is in the soil and at what concentrations, and work with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to determine what needs to be done to clean it up.