City has 5 years to develop acquired land or face default

A timeline was set for development if the city agrees to purchase land offered by resident Greg Nordsven.

By BRYCE MARTIN

Herald Editor

Posted March 22, 2013 

KILLDEER — A timeline was set for development if the city agrees to purchase land offered by resident Greg Nordsven.

The Killdeer city attorney made a draft lease agreement for discussion and consideration, presented to the Killdeer City Commission at their meeting Monday. It was a 99-year lease, with the city paying Nordsven $1 per year for the property. Clearly stated within the agreement is that the land must be used for employee affordable housing and if the city fails to use it for that purpose, it would represent a default on the lease.

It also states that the land must be developed within five years of accepting the land.

“After our last meeting … we had guys in here that would do the development,” Killdeer City Administrator Dawn Marquardt said.

A meeting between the city, the potential developers, Killdeer Public School officials – who have shown great interest in the land for employee housing – and the JDA is scheduled for March 27.

Whether the development will include single-family homes or apartments, the board was uncertain. It will know more after the March 27 meeting.

An important question from the board was who would maintain status as landlord over the development. Nordsven would lease the land to the city. In turn, the city would sublease developed housing to renters, which would make the city the landlord. A quasi-entity could be made that lays out who does what to keep landlord duties of the city to a minimum.

“If oil development takes off in Dunn County like they say, there’s going to be a need for housing that is controlled,” Killdeer City Commission President Dan Dolechek said.

People offering city land acreages for development is not uncommon, as another group inquired about seven to eight acres they wondered if the city was interested in jointly purchasing.

The group hoped the city would purchase the land with them and build mobile homes.

“(I’m) not sure there’s a need for more mobile homes yet,” Commissioner Anita Mjolhus said. “I’d like to see how things pan out to the east. Not right now.”

The other option, as suggested by Mjolhus, was to move ahead to buy that land and “sit on it” as a singular entity, without the group, if the price may be reasonable.

The board made no movement on the offer at the meeting.

For the street, water and sewer projects to be established prior to any development, estimates were submitted to the board for approval.

The 2nd Avenue project is estimated to cost $1,363,000. Those funds are to procured through grants as they are water and sewer projects. The state will make a decision about grants around July.

The High Street NE reconstruction will cost $1,154,800, which is just for street paving. Because it is a road construction project, no grants can be sought by the city. That money, however, will matriculate back to the city over the years through assessments.

The Mountainview Lane paving project will cost $92,787 and the 106th Avenue SW project will cost $215,856, which Commissioner Chuck Muscha said is not even close to the actual cost because the thickness of the asphalt in the plans were not accurate.

Contact Bryce Martin at bmartin@countrymedia.net.


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