by Dennis Dalman
A proposal to take bids for the sale of city property will be the subject of a public hearing before the St. Joseph City Council at one of its September meetings. The date will be announced soon.
The council has been considering selling the St. Joseph Community Center building (formerly Kennedy Elementary School). The city is now in the process of accepting proposals from any individual or company interested in purchasing that facility or any other city-owned property on that particular four-acre parcel of land. Such a sale proposal would also be open for public bidding.
Any money realized from a sale or sales would be dedicated solely to paying off a city bond that was used to develop that property.
The four-acre area is part of a 16.9-acre parcel and is also the site of the St. Joseph Government Center and other buildings.
If the community center is sold, the purchaser(s) could conceivably use it for another purpose or keep it as a community center and rent its spaces for recreational uses. In the meantime, St. Joseph still hopes to build what will be called the Jacob Wetterling Community Center on a field not far from the current community center (the Kennedy school building). That center and a proposed East Park along the Sauk River near the new Kennedy Community School south of St. Joseph would be paid for at least partly by a state bonding bill. However, the City Council and other St. Joseph residents are still waiting for the legislature to approve a bonding bill with those two projects in it.
The current community center, the one that could be purchased, contains a daycare service and church, a food shelf, open gymnasium, pickleball and rooms for other activities.
The area subject to possible purchase proposals is zoned as “educational/ecclesiastical.” Permitted uses on it could include churches, convents, novitiates, a college, a prep school, grade school, high school, vocational school or college-owned student housing.
A proposal for sale, to be accepted by the city council, must be an offer of a minimum of $600,000. Proposals can be sent to St. Joseph City Clerk Kayla Klein, 75 Callaway St. E., St. Joseph, MN 56374; or sent via email to email@example.com
The St. Joseph community development director and the city administrator will review and evaluate all proposals and possibly make a recommendation to the city council.