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Wind farm suit blamed for delaying sale

Staff writer

Because of uncertainty over a pending lawsuit, Marion city council members voted Monday to give a wind farm more time to complete purchase of a building in the city’s industrial park.

The vote was 4-1, with council member Ruth Herbel opposed.

In November, Expedition Wind, which is developing a wind farm in the southern part of the county, signed a contract to buy a building at 828 N. Roosevelt.

Expedition asked for more time to complete the purchase, economic development director Randy Collett told council members, because of an ongoing lawsuit against county commissioners and Expedition.

Expedition made a nonrefundable $5,000 earnest-money payment in May 2019.

The contract was signed Nov. 18 and Expedition made another $5,000 nonrefundable

payment. The $10,000 in deposits are to be subtracted from the purchase price of $190,000.

The extension approved Monday requires an additional $10,000 prepayment to extend the original deadline, which had been Friday.

While holding the building for Expedition, the city has paid $29,913.86 in taxes, loan payments and interest, and insurance, Herbel said. She suggested that it should be put back on the market.

Collett said Expedition would bring several professional and technical jobs.

“Presumably, they’ll be new to Marion,” he said.

Collett identified another potential buyer as a cremation company. About $300,000 would be required to prepare the building its purposes, and the company would only provide two jobs and contribute little to local sales taxes.

He also has been talking to the cremation company about the nearby Airstream Guy building and the Shawmar office on Main St.

“I’d like to see the property offered to Expedition right away,” Herbel said.

But Collett replied:

“They are not willing to step out until they’ve got the final court ruling,” Collett said.

Council member Chris Costello said Expedition had faced more obstacles than any other business coming to Marion.

“I think the benefits on the other end are worth it,” he said.

Last modified June 10, 2020

 

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