The Park Rapids City Council on July 9 approved the sale of city-owned land in the industrial park to Enbridge Energy.

In the purchase agreement, the city agrees to sell Enbridge three lots totaling 7.71 acres, guided and zoned for light industrial use, for $72,474 or $9,400 per acre.

City Planner Andrew Mack said the Park Rapids Planning Commission found that the proposed sale accords with the city’s comprehensive land use plan. He recommended that the council approve the purchase agreement.

“That price per acre was arrived at by an independent, third-party appraiser,” said Mack. “That appraisal amount came in right on par with where the city’s assessor evaluated the property.”

Mack said Enbridge intends to build a warehouse pipe management facility at the site.

He recommended setting the closing for Sept. 1. This allows 30-day notice of a public hearing regarding the vacation of a right of way adjacent to the municipal airport.

Council member Tom Conway moved to approve the purchase agreement. The motion carried unopposed.

Under its consent agenda, the city council set a public hearing regarding the proposed vacation of a public right-of-way next to the industrial park property the city is selling to Enbridge Energy.

The hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13 at city hall.

Licensing agreement

In separate business, the council approved a license agreement with Enbridge to use a public right-of-way off Commerce Ave. for a private driveway into the industrial park property.

“This is an unimproved road right of way that’s adjacent to the fence that goes around the airport,” said Mack. “The city has had no plans for improvement of this road right of way” except for a long-term plan for gated access to hangar space yet to be built.

In response to city council members’ questions, Mack said the right of way will remain public although the improvements are private. This means:

  • If the city decides to build a public road there, Enbridge will have six months’ notice before having to remove their improvements.

  • The city will have zero maintenance responsibility for the private drive.

  • Use of the drive is restricted to the city and the private property owner. “In fact, there will be a gate to the site,” said Mack.

City Administrator John McKinney clarified, “We’re allowing them to use our land to build a driveway in this space, but we have a right to use it also as a city – but not the public generally. If we ever want to make it a street, we have a right to cancel their license.”

Mack said the agreement includes provisions requiring that the landowner and subcontractors working on the driveway indemnify the city of any liability and name the city as an “additional insured.”

Conway moved approval of the licensing agreement. The motion passed unopposed.

Mack estimated that the Enbridge facility would create “five new, permanent, good-paying jobs in the community.”

“I think it’s a good thing for the city,” said Mayor Ryan Leckner. “We’ll get some money we can invest into our industrial park and create some new jobs.”