Council decides to take proposals for skate park area, vacant lots
City to keep beach, move skate park
At its March 28 meeting, the Albert Lea City Council voted 5-2 to advertise for proposals to develop a private marina, with new restrooms and perhaps a restaurant, in the skate park area of City Beach, 300 Johnson St. The City would move the skate park to a different area with the public beach remaining in place.
City councilors voting in favor of taking marina proposals emphasized that this step is about exploring options and far from a final decision.
“Let’s wait for proposals before killing the idea,” said Councilor Reid Olson.
Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr. said, “We need to look at those opportunities.”
May 24 is the deadline for proposals, with presentations to the city council to be scheduled at a later date.
“Our community is experiencing shortages of housing, warehousing, and certain services along the lakefront,” said City Manager Ian Rigg. “Advertising for proposals would be the first step in seeking private development for these properties. Many steps would follow, with opportunity for public input, with the council making the final decision on any proposal.”
The resolution also included seeking proposals for vacant lots owned by the city, including three parcels along the north side of the 200 block of Front Street East, and one parcel each at the southeast and northeast corners of Belmont Street and Spark Ave. The goals would be housing or supporting retail businesses, such as a grocery, for the Front Street properties; housing for the northeast Belmont property; and light industrial or warehousing for the southeast Belmont property.
Proposals for the Front Street property are due May 24, with preliminary presentations to the city council to be scheduled at a later date. Proposals for the Belmont properties are due April 19 with preliminary presentations to the city council scheduled for April 26.
Also Monday night, the council approved a resolution to take action on four blighted properties the city acquired through unpaid taxes. The city will proceed with stabilizing a commercial building at 1039 Broadway Ave. South, and two houses at 728 South Newton Ave. and 313 East Eighth St. The end cost of stabilizing the buildings, such as repairing the roofs or foundations, is equal to or less than the cost of demolition. The goal is to clear the way for private parties to finish fixing up the structures for use or resale.
The fourth property, at 610 East Fourth St., is too deteriorated to be saved, according to the city Inspection Department, and will be demolished. The goal for this property is to sell the vacant lot for building a house.
Two studies in 2021 found that Albert Lea faces a critical housing shortage of all types, from apartments to single-family homes, for all ranges of income.
“Our goal is to ensure safe, affordable housing for everyone. Our major employers are seeking additional employees, and to help their recruitment efforts, we need more housing,” Rigg said.
For more information about the request for proposals, contact Rigg at 507-377-4300 or [email protected].
The Albert Lea City Council meets in the council chambers at City Hall, 221 E. Clark St., the second and fourth Monday of each month, starting at 7 p.m. The meetings are open to the public, and are also available online by going to www.cityofalbertlea.org and clicking on “ALTV” in the upper right corner.
The City of Albert Lea’s mission is to deliver exceptional services that enhance the quality of life for current and future generations.