Council approves grant agreements for new Kwik Trip site

Published 1:15 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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Vote also passes to put soil remediation project out for bids

The Albert Lea City Council voted Monday to move forward with two grant agreements for work at the Blazing Star Landing that will make way for the development of a new Kwik Trip at the corner of Main Street and Garfield Avenue.

The first is for a grant through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for a Redevelopment Grant Agreement for the development of Eberhart Street within the Blazing Star Landing.

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Specifically, it includes the construction of the development access road, sanitary sewer, storm, waterman, sidewalks and other infrastructure to prepare for the subdivision of lots.

The grant can fund 50% of eligible work up to about $189,200.

The second grant, also through DEED, is for a cleanup grant in the northeast corner that can cover 75% of eligible work up to about $130,000.

The soil at the 3.66-acre site is contaminated with petroleum and other contaminants, and that soil must be removed. The grant would cover excavation and disposal of the contaminated soil, as well as backfilling and grading at the site in preparation for the new convenience store.

The council approved a purchase agreement with Kwik Trip for the new site at its June 24 meeting. The company is expected to build a 9,100-square-foot convenience store with multiple filling pumps and a car wash.

During the Monday meeting, the council also voted to put the soil remediation project out for bids.

Braun Internet has completed an environmental assessment of a six-acre portion of the property, as well as a response action plan and construction contingency plan, which was submitted to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The site previously was the location of a meat-packing facility for almost 100 years. The Farmland Foods plant burned down in 2001, and the Blazing Star area has remained mostly vacant in the years since due to soil contamination and related remediation costs.