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Sale of WRTC will be completed today

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Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- The sale of the Willmar Regional Treatment Center will be completed on today, but without any grand fanfare. As a matter of fact, there will be no fanfare what-so-ever.

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The final documents for the complicated transaction were signed Friday clearing the way for the deal to be finalized today, said Wayne Thompson, Kandiyohi County administrator.

But there will be no ceremonial signing of the documents for the public or press to witness, said Thompson, in a brief interview Friday evening.

Instead, today will be a working session where attorneys representing the different entities will meet in an attorney's office in Willmar and attach the correct signature pages with the appropriate documents. The action will quietly sign the completion of the sale of the WRTC.

Because offices are closed today for the Martin Luther King the documents will be recorded on Tuesday at the county office, said Thompson.

The transaction will include documents signed by the state, Kandiyohi County, the Willmar Housing and Redevelopment Authority and MinnWest Technology.

MinnWest Technology is a private Willmar company that is buying a majority of the land and buildings. The company will buy 95 acres and 37 buildings on the WRTC campus for $900,000.

MinnWest will use the land and buildings to develop a technology campus to house their businesses, including Epitopix and Nova-Tech Engineering, and other technology enterprises that could bring several hundred jobs new jobs to town.

Kandiyohi County will purchase the remaining 18 acres and seven buildings for $1.

The Willmar Housing and Redevelopment Authority is acting as a middleman between the different agencies.

Thompson said it's possible the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission and the Willmar Area Chamber of Commerce will organize a public ceremony in the future to mark the transaction.

The Chamber and the EDC will be heavily involved in helping to market MinnWest to outside businesses. MinnWest is "going to have a lot of help and support," said Thompson. "Hopefully it'll be successful."

The process to coordinate the complicated real estate transaction took much longer than any of the entities expected. "Everybody's relieved that it's finally coming to a conclusion," said Thompson.

Kandiyohi County will have permanent ownership of two buildings that house the Prairie Lakes Youth Program, a juvenile detention center. They'll also own five buildings that will be leased by the state for existing programs.

Three state employees have been hired by the county to provide maintenance for the buildings and grounds owned by the county. MinnWest will be responsible for maintaining their land and buildings.

Thompson said individuals who work at the power plant will continue to be state employees. They will likely work there until the heating system is no longer needed sometime this year. The central heating system is being terminated and replaced with individual systems for the separate buildings.

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