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Congrats to council for land deal with co-op

Last Monday, Oct. 1, the Glencoe City Council approved a land agreement with McLeod Cooperative Power. The agreement proves the city’s investment in land for an industrial park was both worthwhile and provided financially prudent.
The city council unanimously approved a plan in which the City of Glencoe will purchase 3.38 acres at the east end of East 11th Street, on the city’s eastern border, between the railroad tracks and Highway 212, for $66,000.
The plan calls for the city to sell McLeod Cooperative Power the 3.38-acre parcel and the adjacent 6.63-acre lot in the eastern industrial park for $211,000. The city’s net income from the sale is $145,000. The additional benefits of property taxes and jobs in town over time will dwarf that initial income.
The land for the city’s industrial park was purchased back in 2007. The city’s buying land for a future business park no doubt raised eyebrows back then. It was then, and still would be today, a wise investment in the name of planned growth and expansion of a commercial-industrial tax base. Ideally, a city, county or state should not have to use tax dollars to attract a business to town. That ideal doesn’t exist these days. Cities and counties must invest in their respective futures.
Without the will to invest in a tax base, homeowners will bare a larger share of the property tax base.
The co-op needs 10 acres for equipment and space.
Without the additional land, the McLeod Cooperative Power could have rightfully exercised its right to look elsewhere for land. The transaction will keep the co-op and its staff of 26 full- and part-time employees in Glencoe.
The land in the east industrial park has municipal water available to it. A smaller adjacent parcel in the deal needs to be annexed into the city. Another plus, the land transaction does not require the city to finance any road or utility improvements in the land.
The city unsuccessfully tried to win approval for access to and from the parcel to Highway 212 from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). MnDOT is not in the habit of allowing additional egress to and from highways.
The co-op is aiming to begin construction this upcoming spring. The co-op’s current plans include construction of about 10,000 square feet of office space and 24,000 square feet of warehouse/garage. The initial estimated tax valuation is $1.8 million in tax base.
Although the Glencoe City Council and its staff botched the mechanics of approving the deal by acting on it when council’s approved agenda said the city council would only be discussing the deal and then adjourning, the City of Glencoe deserves credit for making the deal come to fruition.

-jm