Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Jan. 8, 2001

Howard Lake council to get appraisals of school sites

By Lynda Jensen

The future potential new Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted high school site dominated a short regular meeting for the Howard Lake City Council Tuesday.

The council approved having John Farrell, Waverly, make appraisals of the two properties being looked at by the HLWW School Board, in addition to an appraisal of the Winsted Elementary School building.

Farrell operates a business in Rockford and has done appraisals for the six county area, including Wright, Meeker, Hennepin and McLeod, he said.

The elementary building was part of the last offer made by the City of Winsted to the school board.

The appraisals will be used to determine Howard Lake's offer for the new school site.

Council members expressed a desire to level the playing field with concrete figures rather than guessing at a property's market value, Administrator Doug Borglund said.

The HLWW board is looking at the Ray Fiecke property, located 1/4 mile north of Winsted city limits, and the Edna Frank property, which is on the Howard Lake city limits, near the cemetery.

During the last school board meeting, the board approved letters of intent with both properties, should the board decide to choose either one, Hoheisel said.

The letters of intent allows the school district to order soil borings and gauge elevations, so that an architect can make cost estimates, Hoheisel said.

There are 101 acres on the Frank property, at a cost of $10,000 per acre.

The Fiecke property contains 70 acres on its west side with an additional 80 acres of land on its east side.

If the board decides to purchase both sections of the Fiecke property, the land will cost $4,500 per acre.

If the school board decides to purchase only the west section of Fiecke land, it will cost $5,000 per acre.

Council members debated on the involvement of a local real estate agent, although this was dropped in favor of the appraisal.

Van Oss commented that the numbers could be dismissed if they were perceived as being partisan.

Councilor John Swanson noted that the results could be disregarded if they were not thoroughly done.

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