Lonsdale purchases $3 million site for business park

Big changes are ahead for the small town of Lonsdale. On Monday, June 17, following a closed meeting of the Lonsdale City Council, the councillors voted 4-0 in favor of purchasing 80-acres for $3,082,500, and develop it into a commercial business park. The site is located east of Lonsdale on State Hwy. 19, at the southwest corner of the Garfield Avenue intersection.  

City Administrator Joel Erickson explained that city reserves will be used to purchase the land with plans in place for repaying the fund. At the next council meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 27, he said they will sell bonds to cover some costs, and the reserves will be replenished as they sell lots to businesses. 

In September, 2012, the City of Lonsdale was awarded a $1.5 million Minnesota DEED grant to be used for the construction of roads and utilities for the business park. Lonsdale's proposal was one of only nine projects selected from the 90 applicants. The total construction cost at that time was estimated to be $4.3 million. 

Erickson stated that when the city applied for the grant, Midwest Cryogenics, a local business wanting to expand, was interested in purchasing a lot. He stated that the business is still interested in constructing a facility at the new site when lots become available.

"We're excited and want to get the project going and sell lots," Erickson said. "This project will attract businesses, create jobs and increase the tax base."

A condition of the grant is that construction start on the project before July 1, 2013. The engineering, design, grading plan and feasibility study have all been completed and approved by the council, allowing construction to begin at any time.