City to pay more than $13,000 in land dealTwo Harbors City Council members unanimously voted Monday night to make an amendment to a resolution made earlier this year in which the company run by Sam Cave offered land to the city as a donation. It will cost the city $10,000 more than it bargained for.
By: Brittany Berrens, Lake County News Chronicle
Two Harbors City Council members unanimously voted Monday night to make an amendment to a resolution made earlier this year in which the company run by Sam Cave offered land to the city as a donation. It will cost the city $10,000 more than it bargained for.
The amendment to the January 11 resolution states that the city will “incur closing costs for title insurance, recording fees, survey costs, real estate taxes, etc. in the approximate amount of $13,500 if it accepts the donation.” In the previous language, the land that the community center and American Legion parking lot sits on would be given to the city “free and clear of any conditions,” City Attorney Steve Overom said earlier this year.
Now, the city will cover the approximately $10,000 in unpaid Lake County real estate taxes from 2010 and 2011 that Port City Development has refused to pay. “It isn’t my preferred solution, but let’s just get this done,” Overom said. He said that after months of negotiations, it was clear that Cave’s company was not going to pay the taxes. Council members were not presented with any other options.
Council members lament covering the unpaid taxes, but also wanted to get the deal done with.
“I don’t like what’s happened here, but the city needs to obtain the property,” council member Seth McDonald said.
The decision to enter into a grant agreement with the State of Minnesota for an Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation grant was tabled. The $300,000 grant would help cover costs associated with the County Road 26 extension project. The decision was tabled because with accepting the grant, the city would need to enter into a development agreement to show the IRRRB that the project would help economic expansion.
Northshore Manufacturing has driven interest in the project because extending the county road south of Highway 61 would allow the business to expand. Council members wanted an expansion agreement in place before accepting the grant.
Luke Heikkila, superintendent at the Two Harbors water treatment plant, said a lightning strike last Friday night caused an estimated $10,000 in damage and repair costs at the plant. He said despite surge protection, some electronic instrumentation was damaged and a crew from the Twin Cities area had to make the drive up to Two Harbors to help with repairs.
Heikkila said they worked through the night to make sure everything was running and in good shape, and that nobody noticed a difference in their water service. The costs are covered by insurance.