The new law enforcement center took a step closer to reality Tuesday with a simple $8,000 purchase.
The county plans to build a new headquarters for the Redwood County Sheriff’s Department and Redwood Falls Police Department by expanding the current facility near the courthouse.
The vacant lot where the old Masonic lodge sat will provide some additional room and parking space.
Tearing down the original sheriff’s department building, now part of the current one, will provide more space.
However, to get even more space, the facility will have to expand out into the current parking lot.
Not a problem — except the parking lot is jointly owned by both the city and the county.
Complicating matters for the county’s plans, the drive-through area in front of the main entrance is legally an alley belonging to the city.
To straighten out all the legal issues involving who owns what land, the Redwood Falls City Council sold two of its lots in the parking area to the county for $8,000 on Tuesday.
The total value of the two lots was accessed at $16,000, but since they were jointly owned by the city, half-price was judged appropriate.
In other city new, the council:
• Consolidated the Streets and City Shop departments into one department.
While the two departments have traditionally had separate roles and responsibilities, the staffs tended to work together on large projects anyway.
With the head of the Streets Department about to transition into becoming the airport manager on Jan. 1, city staff decided it would be more economical to simply merge the departments.
• Approved a Load to Load sales agreement and credit application of up to $20,000 with AVFUEL Corporation to provide fueling services at the Redwood Falls airport.
• Approved a variance to increase the maximum allowable percentage for accessory buildings in rear yards for the home at 722 E. 4th St.
The applicant is looking to construct an accessory garage in the rear of his home that would occupy 31 percent of the yard, while the current zoning ordinance only allows buildings to occupy 25 percent.
The property owner stated he is also building an addition to his home which is extending into the back yard, and if the garage had been constructed first, it would have met the requirements of the ordinance.
• Approved contract changes with the Redwood Falls Public Employees Association (RFPEA) bargaining committee for a two year tentative contract.
The new contract states RFPEA employees will receive a three percent wage increase in 2013, and a two percent increase in 2014.
The contract also increases the current compensation for being “on-call” from one hour per day to 1.5 hours.
Page 2 of 2 - • Last summer, the city approved a five-year tax abatement for Northstar Properties to build a new industrial structure just off County Road 101 beside the North Redwood hill.
Poor soil conditions have delayed start of construction until potentially next spring, interfering with the five-year tax abatement schedule.
In response, the city council set Jan. 2, 2013, at 5:15 p.m. in the city council chambers, as the time for a public hearing about the Ponderosa Business Park Prospect, and how to handle the tax abatement situation. The public is welcome to attend.