Council to consider industrial park land purchase

NEW ULM — By the end of the year New Ulm could see a nearly 44 acre expansion its industrial park.

Tuesday evening (July 18) the New Ulm City Council will consider approving a purchase agreement for 43.94 acres of additional land in the Airport Industrial Park.

This land is adjacent to Wal-Mart Supercenter and is accessed by Jacobs Street and Somsen St. The sellers in the agreement are Roger E. Schultz, Margaret A. Schultz, Luverna H. Shultz, Denise H. Schapekahm and Jeffery D. Schultz. The prices of the land is $33,000 per acre for a total price of $1.45 million.

Last November the city council authorized City Manager Brian Gramentz to investigate potential properties to be purchased and developed for industrial purposes. Over the last year city staff has advised the council to reserve funds for industrial park expansion.

The decision to seek further land expansion was a controversial decision within the council. Former Councilor Ruth Ann Webster believed acquiring additional land was not the best use of city money and voted against seeking new properties. Webster was concerned the competition with other communities would leave any new industrial land empty.

The rest of the council believed New Ulm needed the extra land to remain competitive or risk being at the bottom of the list when new industries scout locations.

If the purchase agreement the closing will take place on or before December 15, 2017.

In other news the council is considering awarding the bid for the playground replacement project in German Park to Webber Recreational Design. This is the final replacement project in the city’s 10-year plan to eliminate older and non-complaint playgrounds and is budgeted for $225,000.

The new equipment would feature a poured-in-place rubber surfacing similar to the surface at Hermann Heights playground. The playground would have a Bavarian alpine mountain caste theme with musical components and gravity rail.

The council meeting starts at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall. Before the meeting the council will hold a informational budget work session at 3 p.m. No official action on the 2018 budget will be conducted but a quorum will be present.