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Willmar City Council OKs former Rule Tire demolition bid

WILLMAR — The former Rule Tire Shop, which heirs of the late owner gifted to the city in exchange for their payment of property taxes, will be demolished under action taken by the Willmar City Council.

The council Monday night approved the $48,500 low bid of M.A.A.C. of Montevideo to demolish the former tire shop’s two concrete buildings and unsafe pole structure located at the corner of Seventh Street and Benson Avenue Southwest.

The council earlier this year accepted the property as a gift from the Rule family, provided they paid the taxes.

Approval of the M.A.A.C. bid was recommended by the Community Development Committee. Committee Vice Chair Bruce DeBlieck reported to the council that M.A.A.C. has staff available and would like to pursue the project in the very near future.

Two higher bids of about $70,000 and $110,000 were also received by the city.

In February 2011, the city used M.A.A.C. to demolish the Templo Mahanaim Assemblea de Dios church building on the corner of Seventh Street Southwest and Litchfield Avenue after the city condemned and acquired the building.

Bruce Peterson, planning and development director, said the company will grind and haul away the tire shop concrete for some other use. The site will be leveled and graveled and offered for sale.

Councilman Steve Ahmann asked if any party has expressed interest in buying the property and he asked about the appraised value.

Peterson said he thought the property was appraised at $75,000 to $80,000. Peterson said he did have some interest in the property but no one wanted to pay the market price.

“We’re obligated to try to get the best price possible,’’ he said. “I would imagine once the buildings are out of there and people can see the site in a cleared condition, we’ll begin to get some interest.’’

The demolition cost will be paid from $54,000 in the capital improvement program that had been budgeted but won’t be spent this year for an irrigation project and a fencing project at the airport.

City Administrator Charlene Stevens said fencing and irrigation won’t be done this year because the Minnesota Department of Transportation denied cost-sharing funds for those projects.

Councilman Denis Anderson asked if the projects will be done in 2015.

Stevens said the city would look at doing those projects in another year.

In other business, the council approved a preliminary plat submitted by Har-Mar Foods Inc. of Marshall to subdivide the First Street South property where the company’s new Hardee’s restaurant is located.

The property previously consisted of one parcel with two structures on it: the restaurant in the front and a brick office building in the rear.

The preliminary plat creates two lots: one for the restaurant and one for the office building. It also creates an outlot, which is the driveway around the restaurant and driveway for the office building. The driveway will be shared by the restaurant and the office building.

The preliminary plat was approved by the Planning Commission last week. The outlot was required in order to provide access from First Street to the rear office building. The access was needed if Har-Mar wants to sell the office building in the future, said a city planning official.

The site purchased by Har-Mar Foods had been the location of the former Wendy’s restaurant and the former Hoja Asian restaurant. Exterior and interior remodeling is underway.

Har-Mar Chief Executive Officer Lionel Bolden told the Tribune the company is hiring staff and plans to open the restaurant June 16.

Hardee’s was formerly located at the Kandi Mall but closed a number of years ago.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150