City agrees to buy Mann Valley landPhoto courtesy of the city of River Falls River Falls plans to buy land west of the city. The area lies within a large piece of open property bordered to the north by County Road MM, to the south by County Road M, to the east by open land and housing, and to the west by Mann Lane.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
The City Council unanimously approved at its Tuesday meeting a developer’s agreement to buy 102-111 acres west of the city in the town of Troy that will eventually become the city’s next industrial/corporate park site.
The documents approved Tuesday end many months of negotiation, as well as years of planning for the next park, and approve a sale from River Bank in Osceola to the city for $1,000,000 cash.
The city expected to close the deal on or about Monday, Jan. 31.
In the agreement, River Falls gains 85 developable acres that are part of a 325-acre site now owned by River Bank but once slated for a housing development. The city’s remaining 17-26 acres would be used for storm detention and parks following development, which according to City Administrator Scot Simpson won’t be for a long while, probably years.
When the time does come, the deal calls for annexing the land into the city. Simpson’s memo to the council says, “The city has no immediate annexation or development plans for this land and a land lease is in place to continue farming operations on the land.”
Other points of negotiation included: First right of refusal on the remaining, adjacent 240 acres; option for the city required annexation of the remaining land; River Bank’s participation in joint planning for site development; split closing costs to a maximum of $7,500; farm lease of the site for 2011; the bank pays all real estate taxes for 2011; heavy industrial would not be an option; and the city gains a small storage building on the site.
Settlement, fees, fuel cash deal
River Falls will neither borrow money nor can it use money from tax-increment finance districts. Simpson’s memo to the City Council acknowledges the city’s commitment to protect balances in the general fund.
He said that led to an analysis of all the different funds and accounts to see where the money could be found. Simpson explained it basically comes from an environmental fund.
The dollars in it come from a $1.4-million settlement with surrounding towns and a local business that were “responsible parties related to landfill liability” plus an environmental fee imposed in 1995.
When initiated, the fee money covered monitoring and capping costs of the now-closed landfill site on County Road FF. Simpson said that work is complete, the fee has been reduced twice, and the money from it now pays for ongoing monitoring.
The environmental fund is also to cover any costs incurred by changes to landfill monitoring laws or future recapping.
The fund has about $2 million in it that won’t be needed for at least 10 years if not 25-40 years.
Simpson said at the meeting, “We don’t need them (funds) anytime soon, so that seems to be a good match for this purpose.”
Get more details on this story in the Jan. 27 print edition of the River Falls Journal.