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City trying to clean up sites

May 22, 2012
Jodelle Greiner - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

BLUE EARTH - Blue Earth City Council has been battling to get four buildings on Main Street cleaned up.

City Attorney David Frundt told the council Monday that buildings at 119, 126, 128 and 130 N. Main St. have been inspected.

The one at 119 - otherwise known as the Avalon building - has been declared a nuisance. The report on the other three buildings is being reviewed by the city.

A public hearing on the Avalon building will be held at the council meeting on May 31. (The council voted Monday to move its June 4 meeting to May 31.)

Mayor Rob Hammond also plans to review zoning violations at the hearing, and how they pertain to the other three properties on Main Street.

In another matter related to nuisance properties, Frundt reported that a garage at 305 E. 10th St. is being used to store garbage. He said the residents have been given notice, but nothing has been done. The council will hold a public hearing on the matter May 31.

Another public hearing has been slated for June 18 to discuss the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

Consultant Stephen Moline of Pettipiece and Associates discussed the needs of the area as part of the plan.

Council members agreed it is necessary to recruit more professionals, such as dentists, teachers and people working in technology.

"We're down to two veterinarians that are 60-plus [in age]," Hammond noted.

Other community goals were discussed, such as an industrial park, infrastructure, housing market (tight rental market, lots of houses for sale), and recreation use: ballfields, walking trails and golf course.

Moline said his next step is to talk to City Administrator Kathy Bailey and others in town and put together a condensed version of the plan to post online.

In other business Monday, the council decided to advertise for bids on two pieces of land.

The first is near Subway and has been used as a golf driving range by Blue Earth Area Schools. The school no longer wants to use the land and has removed the equipment and stopped maintaining it. Bailey said two people are interested in buying the parcel.

"When the school took it over, it was a blessing," Hammond said. "Now that the city has it back, it's no longer a blessing."

"If we have a buyer, we should move on it, if it's a fair price," said Councilman Glenn Gaylord.

The second piece of land is located north of the football field and has been used for parking. Again, there are people interested in buying it, Bailey said.

The council decided bids on both properties are due by 4 p.m. June 18.

Looking to other subjects, the council:

o Met new police officer Matt Hotzler. He had worked part- time for the Blue Earth since October. His first full-time day was April 29.

o Accepted a check for $2,200 from Center Point Energy as part of an equipment grant. The money will be used for the confined space extraction equipment in the wastewater plant.

o Heard notice of filing for elected offices, including four positions on the council. Those up for election are Hammond, Gaylord, Allen Aukes and John Huisman.



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