City looking to acquire tax-forfeited property

Published 10:21 am Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Albert Lea City Council on Monday night voted to look at acquiring tax-forfeited property at three locations in Albert Lea.

The city of Albert Lea has received notification from Freeborn County regarding tax-forfeited properties held by the state of Minnesota for non-payment of property taxes at 332 S. Broadway Ave., 717 Madison Ave. and 815 Madison Ave.

Chad Adams

Chad Adams

The resolution directs city staff to request the county to withhold the parcels for public sale for up to six months. This gives the city time to negotiate with the county regarding a purchase price for the parcels.

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The city would require the parcels to be used for public purpose consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan and redevelopment map.

Albert Lea City Manager Chad Adams said the three parcels are located in a redevelopment zone in the city’s comprehensive plan. Adams said the city’s goal is to turn those properties around to create tax base, create more diversified housing options in the community and potentially create new jobs, particularly on the 300 block of South Broadway.

“Creating housing options that meet the needs of our entire workforce is an important component to economic development, to attract qualified workforce to meet our existing job openings in the community and to attract new businesses,” Adams said.

“We’re just exploring the idea right now,” said 2nd Ward City Councilor Larry Baker. “If you have areas that are vacant, it’s probably advantageous for the city to acquire the areas and re-develop them.”

The city purchased a building at 314 S. Broadway last month as consistent with their revitalization plan.

Adams said the facilities master plan that was recently completed didn’t include the 300 block as a potential site for a new City Hall.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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