[Audio] Pine City Agrees to Purchase Old Courthouse

Monday, January 12th, 2009 at 7:00 am

The Pine City council met Saturday morning for a special meeting at city hall. The council discussed a handful of subjects with the focus centered on the city’s main facility needs. With a 4-1 vote, the council decided that it will purchase the old Pine County Courthouse from Pine County for $50,000. Councilman Paul Miller opposed.

Mayor Jane Robbins cautioned the council that purchasing the 30,000 square foot building in such trying economic times presents a series of challenges. Robbins said her concern is not the $50,000 up front but the costs needed for upkeep and repairs down the road, including a new roof and windows.

Councilman Brian Scholin says he believes the public perception is that not purchasing the courthouse means the city is giving up on the downtown.

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Councilman Paul Janssen says even if the city can’t use the building right away, its value is too high not to purchase.

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The council agreed to direct city staff to move forward with negotiating a purchasing agreement with the county that would potentially allow the city to pay the $50,000 price tag over the course of a few years. City Administrator Don Howard and city attorney Dan Blake will put together the purchasing agreement for the county’s review.

Pine County gave the city a January 31st deadline to make a decision on the courthouse.

Howard told the council demolishing the building would cost roughly $250,000. He also estimated $70,000 for asbestos removal and $48,000 a year to heat the building.

The Pine County board is scheduled to meet January 20th in Sandstone.

1 Comment

  1. Robert Salonek 01/12/09 at 2:58pm

    I think you forgot to mention council member Paul Millers concerns for the possible mold hazards.The leaky roof over the years could have infested the whole structure and without proper testing/inspection the city could be buying a major and expesive problem.

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