The City Council is ready to vote on an agreement to sell the 11-acre Riverside Park, 11 months after Penford Products Co. first publicly said it was interested.
Mayor Ron Corbett on Friday said a majority of the City Council will vote on Tuesday to approve the development agreement — six months in the making — with Penford.
“It is out of the ordinary to sell park land, and that’s why we took the necessary time to get this deal right,” Corbett said. “We’re in difficult economic times right now, and we have a company that wants to expand, and we should be assisting them and supporting them in any way we can.”
Tim Kortemeyer, president and general manager at Penford, on Friday said the company has approved the development agreement with the city. Kortemeyer said the company continues to look for a partner to help with a plant expansion, which he repeated Friday could be a $30 million to $100-million venture that adds 25 to 50 more jobs at the plant.
In the proposed development agreement, Penford would pay $1.67 million for the park, an amount based on a city appraisal of the land and an analysis of other costs, including replacing park amenities, related to the park’s sale.
The city will use part of the money from any sale to replace a skate park, ball diamond and playground now at Riverside Park at a yet-to-be-determined alternative park site, City Manager Jeff Pomeranz said. The park property will not transfer to Penford until the company needs to take ownership of the park to expand, Pomeranz said.
Do you think the sale is a good move? Do you think the city should sell Riverside Park to Penford?