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Granite Falls, Minn., City Council will pursue acquisition of Riverside Apartments complex

GRANITE FALLS -- City Council members in Granite Falls will continue to pursue the acquisition of the 40-unit Riverside Apartments.

At their meeting Monday, council members agreed to hold a public hearing on a tax abatement proposal for the property, according to City Manager Bill Lavin. The abatement could be used to help raise financing for repairs to the property.

The city is looking to acquire the facility from the federal Housing and Urban Development agency to assure that it remains a residential facility under responsible management. Originally built in the 1970s by a nonprofit organization, the apartments provide affordable housing for senior citizens.

HUD is open to the city's acquisition of the apartments. It agreed to postpone a foreclosure sale that was to have been held Oct. 21.

Earlier, HUD had also rejected a $469,500 bid to purchase the building by a New York City landlord with a long-list of housing code violations.

HUD has indicated it would sell the facility to a local government entity for $164,200, but would reduce the price based on the amount invested in its repair by the entity. In this case, that means the building could be acquired for $1, as HUD estimates repair costs at greater than $164,200.

The Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership is currently reviewing the facility and will be providing the city with its estimate of the repair work needed in upcoming weeks, according to Lavin.

The City Council and Economic Development Agency are working together to make possible the acquisition.

In other council business, the members awarded a $585,903.51 bid by Dakota Supply Group to replace all of the water meters in the city with remote-read meters.

It is part of a $10.5 million project that includes the construction of a new water treatment plant.

Council members also approved the $107,343 bid of Border States Electric to supply remote-read electric meters.

Council members will consider a separate bid by a private contractor to install 85 electric meters at residences where A-based meters are currently in place, and modifications are needed for the new meters.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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