City seeks opinion on building

BLUE EARTH – Blue Earth City Council wants a second opinion.

On Thursday, council members toured the Ag Center to view its condition, after Bevcomm offered to donate the building to the city.

Bevcomm has owned the building since 1993 and donated part of the middle section for the Little Giants Day Care to the city. The rest of the site is “really four separate properties,” says Chris Handevidt, property manager for Bevcomm.

“It’s really nice that Bevcomm has offered to give us the building,” Councilman Dan Brod said Monday. But he recommended caution before accepting:?”If I were buying the property … I think we need to have someone come in and inspect the building.”

“I agree with you, Dan, 100 percent,” said Councilman Russ Erichsrud.

Mayor Rick Scholtes asked if the council wants just the roof inspected or the whole building.

“We need a professional to come in with experience looking at property like this,” said Councilman John Huisman, adding he wants the inspection to cover foundation, roof, parking lots and bathrooms.

Scholtes said the inspection is just one of the items the council needs to consider before accepting the building. He mentioned snow removal; lawn maintenance; who is going to manage the building and how much work it will involve, including handling rentals and calls for maintenance issues.

Property taxes are another consideration, said City Attorney David Frundt.

“If we take it on, could we turn around and sell it?” asked Councilman Glenn Gaylord.

The building, minus the Little Giants section, is valued at $1 million, said Todd Bodem, interim city administrator. The Little Giants portion is worth an estimated $385,600.

Yes, the city could sell it, Scholtes confirmed.

Gaylord also wants to ask the tenants if they might want to buy it.

“[That has] been looked at, with no success,” Huisman said.

The council directed Bodem to make inquiries of businesses qualified for inspections and see what they will charge, then report back to the council.

“[We’re] still very interested, but want to do our due diligence,” Huisman noted.