Meeker County approves loan to company looking to buy property in Litchfield
LITCHFIELD -- Meeker County is closer to selling the former Litchfield Woolen Mills property to a company that repairs wind turbines. Tuesday, the Meeker County Board approved a $448,130 loan to Scottish 6, which will lease the building to TRICO/...
LITCHFIELD -- Meeker County is closer to selling the former Litchfield Woolen Mills property to a company that repairs wind turbines.
Tuesday, the Meeker County Board approved a $448,130 loan to Scottish 6, which will lease the building to TRICO/TCWIND, formerly Tri-County Electric Motor Service of Litchfield.
The county's portion of the loan is $226,176 and will come from the county's revolving loan fund. The rest is from the Southwest Minnesota Foundation and the Mid-Minnesota Development Commission, said Suzanne Hedtke, Meeker County Development Corp. director.
The total loan amount is what was owed to the county and the organizations by Litchfield Woolen Mills. They had all lent money to mill owners in 1999 to help reopen the mill. After they had not received payments from Litchfield Woolen Mills for a year and a half, the county and organizations began foreclosure proceedings on the property in 2004.
The county also purchased the first position mortgage on the property so that it could own it.
Litchfield Woolen Mills closed last spring, leaving 40 people without a job.
A woolen mill based in Rhode Island was interested in the building and the county had a lease agreement with that company, Northwest Woolen Mills. That company had the option to purchase the building when a purchase agreement was reached between the county and TRICO, but it did not take that option.
All woolen mill equipment has been moved out of the building, Hedtke said.
The county hopes to finalize the sale with TRICO/TCWIND by March 15, Hedtke said. TRICO/TCWIND would pay $1.35 million for the building through bank financing and the loan.
TRICO/TCWIND opened in 1996 and is currently located on U.S. Highway 12 in Litchfield. It specializes in electric motor and wind turbine generator service and repair.
Also at the meeting Tuesday, the board learned that Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust has assigned an attorney to represent the county in an appeal of the County Board's decision on an environmental study for a feedlot expansion.
The Meeker County Board decided 4-1 last month not to require an environmental impact statement for a proposed expansion at Dan Fitterer's dairy in Greenleaf Township near Lake Minnie Belle.
He is proposing to increase the cows on site from 40 to 160.
A group of citizens, called Friends of Lake Minnie Belle, intends to appeal that decision, although it hasn't filed the appeal in Meeker County District Court.
An environmental impact statement is an in-depth study of specific environmental issues associated with a project. An environmental assessment worksheet, which is a screening tool used to identify environmental effects, has been conducted for the project.
Jay Squires, who works for a firm in Minneapolis, has been assigned the case. The Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust provides up to $100,000 for defense services in cases involving challenges to land use decisions, according to a letter to the county administrator from the Insurance Trust.