Willmar City Council approves land sale to Dooley Brothers

WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council, after holding a brief public hearing Tuesday, approved an ordinance which allowed the sale of three Industrial Park lots to Dooley Brothers, LLP."Tonight we have the last step of the process," said Bruce Peter...

WILLMAR - The Willmar City Council, after holding a brief public hearing Tuesday, approved an ordinance which allowed the sale of three Industrial Park lots to Dooley Brothers, LLP.
“Tonight we have the last step of the process,” said Bruce Peterson, Community Development and Planning director.
Dooley is purchasing the lots initially for $442,747, full-market value according to Peterson, but the sale is subject to Dooley Brothers’ application to the city’s Industrial Land Write-Down Policy. The policy would reduce the sale price based on the number of new employees and an increase in market value to the property.
“Staff is working with Dooley Brothers to reach consensus on the number of new employees that will be transferring to the Willmar location or hired to staff the Willmar location,” Peterson said.
The write down policy states $10,000 will be deducted from the purchase price for every eligible job created or relocated into Kandiyohi County by a business that purchased and built on city industrial land. The jobs would have to meet the city’s business subsidy policy, which requires a wage of at least $12 per hour, exclusive of benefits.
Current employees of Dooley Brothers who already work in Kandiyohi County will not be eligible for the write-down policy. Only new hires or employees relocating to Kandiyohi County and who are based at the new Willmar site would count. The write-down policy also reduces the purchase price by $25,000 for every $1 million added to the land’s estimated market value. This will be determined by the city assessor.
The council approved the ordinance allowing the sale 5-0, with no discussion. Councilmen Andrew Plowman, Tim Johnson and Steve Ahmann were absent. The council approval also directed staff to move forward with the closing of the sale once the ordinance has been published.
The city council approved the purchase of a Bobcat Toolcat, a Ford F-150, a Ford F-350, GPS Survey equipment, all for Public Works, and a new pool heater for the Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center.
“We’re buying equipment tonight,” Councilman Ron Christianson said.
Authorization to approve plans and specifications, as well as approval to seek bids was given for the Country Club Drive and Westwood Court lift station projects.
In addition the council approved the airport maintenance and operation grant contract with the state. The grant reimburses Willmar for eligible airport maintenance costs, up to 75 percent or $54,863.
The majority of the consent agenda was approved 4-1, which included meeting minutes, appointments to the Human Rights Commission, exempt permits, account payable and the building inspection report. However the majority vote was not enough to approve the appointments of Rebecca Trongaard and Julie Asmus to the Planning Commission and Tom Butterfield to the Zoning Appeals Board. City Attorney Robert Scott explained since the Planning Commission and Zoning Appeals Board are both Charter established boards, appoints to them need at least five votes to pass.
Christianson was the lone negative vote. He gave no reason for his vote at the meeting and chose not to comment when contacted by the Tribune the next day.


Rice Park updates move forward

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email or direct 320-214-4373.

What To Read Next
Mike Clemens, a farmer from Wimbledon, North Dakota, was literally (and figuratively) “blown away,” when his equipment shed collapsed under a snow load.
Volunteers lead lessons on infusing fibers with plant dyes and journaling scientific observations for youth in Crow Wing and Olmsted counties.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission met on Jan. 5, 2023, to consider the application for Summit Carbon Solutions.
Qualified Minnesota farmers will receive dollar-for-dollar matching money to purchase farmland.