Old St. Boni city hall property generates interest

By Lorrie Ham

Realtor Jeff Thompson of Coldwell Banker presented the St. Boni City Council with an offer for the old city hall property at the council’s meeting on Jan. 15. After discussing the matter, the council directed Thompson to present a counter-offer.
The offer came from a St. Boni resident, who put down $1,500 in earnest money with his cash offer of $50,000.  The offer is contingent on getting the property professionally inspected, which is typical in this kind of situation, said Thompson.
The property was listed Jan. 2 with a price tag of $75,000. Thompson said the property has had nine showings and realtors have fielded about 35 calls and emails about the property.
“It’s a unique property,” said Thompson. “With the right vision, it could be a very unique home.”
“I appreciate the offer,” said Councilmember Joe Arwood. “But I don’t think we need to jump on it. It’s only been on the market for 14 days.”
Thompson said the city could present a counter-offer. In discussion, Arwood suggested taking 10 percent off the list price and making an offer of $68,500. Council consensus was unanimous in directing Thompson to present the offer to his client.
“In the meantime, until there is a signed deal the property is being actively marketed,” said Thompson.
In another matter, the council heard from Waconia School Board Member Naomi Erickson on some of the challenges facing the district.
“Waconia is booming,” said Erickson. “And our schools are running out of space.”
Erickson said that the district has added about 260 students per year for the past several years. Growth in the city is projected to continue for at least the next 30 years, so the district is looking to put together a long-range plan that will address space needs for the years to come. In addition to space needs, the district is looking at the need for outdoor athletic fields and facility upgrades.
“We want to open the lines of communication with the cities in our district and work with you as we figure out how to solve the problems of facilities, infrastructure and space,” said Erickson.
The Waconia School District currently serves about 3,700 students in four schools. Adding classroom space to the two elementary schools is not an option, due to site limitations, said Erickson.
Mayor Rick Weible offered an observation regarding a recent referendum request that would have established a new elementary school and outdoor fields in Minnetrista, just outside of St. Boni.
“St. Boni and Minnetrista residents supported the plan, but Waconia voters turned it down,” he said, citing what he felt was Waconia residents’ desire to keep the schools within the city.
Erickson said that talks are underway with Minnetrista about possibly putting some athletic fields within that city’s boundaries. Weible said he liked that idea.
Erickson, who will serve as a liaison to the city of St. Boni during the upcoming two-year planning process, encouraged city councilmembers to contact her or another member of the school board with questions or concerns they may have.
In other business, the council:
• set the date of April 16 at 6 p.m. for the Local Board of Review meeting.
• approved a request from the St. Boni Library to use the council chambers for its summer childrens’ programs.
• set the date of May 3 from 8 a.m. to noon for the annual City-Wide Clean Up Day.