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Sunday
Jan052014

2013 Progress Report

At the December 10, 2013 meeting of the Northfield City Council, Save the Northfield Depot submitted a project progress report as stipulated in the July 13, 2012 property purchase and redevelopment agreement between the City of Northfield and Save the Northfield Depot; it was to be submitted within 18 months of the signing of the agreement. The Council unanimously agreed with our position that we had made adequate progress and can continue with the project; for us, it was not in doubt but confirmation is important.
 
As the report indicates below, we are hoping to obtain enough funds to move the depot in late summer of next year. Many accomplishments seem like small steps, and we tend not to share them at the time. Together, however, they represent considerable effort and progress. Below are some of our responsibilities outlined in the agreement and our accomplishments as presented to the Council.
 
1. Redevelopment Project – We have regularly kept city staff advised of developments and our progress by:

  • sharing the recent concept site drawings (that remained consistent with the draft site plan in agreement) and our communications with Canadian Pacific Railroad about removal of roofless freight house.

Current condition of future siteConcept plan for future site (courtesy of Steve Edwins, AIA)

  • collaborating with the city staff regarding title clearance, burying power lines, environmental issues, removal of freight house, and a water pipe leak in depot.
  • collaborating with the city as specified in the agreement that reserved the city’s right to retain an unspecified portion of the proposed property for a transit hub if the city decided on such use.
    meeting with MnDOT, as suggested by city staff, regarding regulations about access from 2nd and 3rd Streets.

2. Redevelopment Costs – We have made payment expenses as required in the progress to date for the following:

  • attorney fees for agreement and title search
  • site survey
  • conceptual site plan for Planning Commission review of the sale of property
  • asbestos analysis of building
  • initial expenses for the Response Action Plan (RAP) for environmental clean up.

3. Fundraising – We have “diligently made efforts to raise funds” as stipulated in agreement and have made significant progress with about $107,000 raised to date. We have:

  • covered $14,400 of the items (see listing in #2 above) in the budget that have raised to date.
  • $92,700 in cash and pledges available.
  • a highly active fundraising program for the remaining needed funds of $185,900, including use of grant applications, GiveMN.org, Indiegogo, our website, house parties, raffles, and individual and business asks

4. Permits – When appropriate, we will:

  • obtain necessary permits in a timely way (e.g., moving permits, building permits, zoning certificates, replatting permit; see below).
  • assuming the transit hub goes forward, pay our portion of the permits for replatting of the two parcels (now divided into east-west properties) into one and subsequent division of the one into two parcels (to be divided into north-south properties: one for the depot and one for the transit hub. This will happen as soon as the city obtains a clear property title (expected in mid-January).

5. Environmental Review – In collaboration with the city, the following has occurred:

  • Phase II site environmental assessment has been completed.
  • Save the Northfield Depot started the RAP but was requested to stop awaiting the actions of the city regarding the location of the transit hub, which would affect the portion of the land that would be reserved for the transit hub.
  • Met with Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) about options for land clean-up of our portion of the lot.

6. Development Land Use – The above summary of our actions document that we have diligently worked to relocate and renovate the depot building consistent with our site plan.

  • We project that we will move the building before the July 1, 2015 agreement deadline for the completion of fundraising and land transfer.
  • Given the timing of grant applications, the grant requirement to own the building and the possible co-location of the transit hub, we are considering the possibility of owning and moving the depot sometime in mid-2014. We will talk to the city administrator in the near future about the possibilities.
  • See our 2012 annual report (.pdf, 3.4 MB).