City council approves purchase agreement on a 4-1 vote
Wyoming City Council last week approved the purchase agreement for the vacant RiverBank building in the amount of $830,000.
The council action on Tuesday, July 3 authorized the issuance of an $83,000 earnest money check to be held in trust with Eckberg, Lammers, Briggs, Wolff, & Vierling PLLP, in Stillwater. This will be credited against the purchase price.
City Attorney Mark Vierling explained that the arrangements for insurance will be made when the city signs the purchase papers.
The city will have an opportunity to make other inspections of the facilities, check records, and review the title. The FDIC is to provide an urban land title survey.
The city must satisfy all the legal requirements to issue the $2.5 million in bonds which will cover the purchase of the building, some minor remodeling and expansion and remodeling of the existing city hall for use as a public service building.
The vote on the action was 4-1 with Council member Linda Yeager opposed.
At the beginning of the meeting during Open Forum, city resident John Bergum asked the council if their minds had been made up about the purchase of the building in April, why have the public hearing?
Council member Joe Zerwas said it had not been an early or quick decision. He said his mind had not been made up until all the facts and figures about the building and the impact to city taxes was determined.
Mayor Eric Peterson explained that the city can “scrape by” with the facilities it has now, but in five years when expansion is necessary, the costs and interest rates will be higher.
By 2014, Polaris and Xccent will begin paying commercial taxes to the city estimated at $350,000 a year, according to City Administrator Craig Mattson.
Steve Sicheneder, Ken Anderson, Ed Hein and Dan Babbitt raised some of the same questions they had at previous meetings.
They mainly relate to the source of the growth projections for the city. If so many at the public hearing were against the action, why is the council moving ahead on this purchase, they asked? Their comments suggest residents do not believe they are being represented.
Council member Roger Elmore explained the numbers are capacity projections. Joe Zerwas countered that the area is in the next ring of expansion outward from the Twin Cities; near the intersections of US-8 and I-35, with park-and-ride locations helping with transportation costs for residents.
Bergum predicted that when it comes time for Polaris to begin paying taxes, the company will relocate some of its business elsewhere.
Ben Dougherty spoke again strongly in favor of the building purchase.
Votes by Peterson, Elmore, Joe Zerwas and Steve Zerwas approved the purchase agreement.