By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN The City of Dassel is moving forward with the purchase of the Summit Hills addition with the option to sell individual lots for future construction.
Meeker County Economic Development Director David Krueger has been working with the state, the current owner of the tax-forfeited lots, and the county (which is acting as the agent) to be able to purchase the property for $1.
Along with the purchase, the city would then have the option to sell the individual lots. The addition is currently platted to house up to 70 more houses.
“There are people who want to build,” Boese said, noting the economy is ramping up and this would be an opportunity for the city and county to get the lots back on the tax roll.
Brett Bludorn and his business partner, Justin Wendroth were at last Monday’s council meeting and expressed interest in purchasing and building on the lots, as well.
The purchase of the addition would also make the City responsible for the maintenance and repairs to the roads in Summit Hills, explained Terri Boese, clerk/treasurer. She noted that fixing the current road conditions on Summit Cove could cost the city more than $300,000. The sale of the lots and the increase in valuation would pay for the repairs.
This would also be an opportunity for the City to remove the restrictive covenants that have been placed on the existing lots.
Similar to a homeowner’s association, the covenants restrict owners and builders in such ways as limiting the color of the house and restricting storage sheds. Removing the covenants would make the lots subject to the city’s current zoning regulations only, Boese said.
The city could also choose to replat the land, allowing builders to utilize more than one lot.
“It seems like a really good thing,” said Meeker County Administrator Paul Virnig, who noted that the property has been in tax forfeiture for the past three years.
The City purchasing the property would move things forward. Virnig explained that this would allow the City to sell individual lots, which wasn’t an option before.
The city council supported the purchase at its recent meeting and allowed Boese to submit a letter of intent to the county board of commissioners, which will be reviewed during a work session of the commissioners Tuesday, March 24.
If agreed upon, the commissioners would then take action to draft a purchase agreement, with a sale potentially taking place in the next four to six weeks, Krueger explained.
After the closing, the City would have its own procedures, including public hearings to consider replatting and the removal of covenants, Boese noted.
If all goes according to plan, Krueger said lots could be for sale as early as this fall.