W’bago OKs sale of duplexes

WINNEBAGO — Winnebago City Council on Tuesday approved a purchase agreement for two city-owned duplexes, about six months after accepting the initial purchase offer.

In July, the council unanimously accepted a $220,000 offer from Robert Richards to purchase the duplexes, which are located on Second Avenue SW and Fifth Street SW. Because Richards would assume the loan the city has with the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, the sale had to be approved by the agency before it could be finalized.

While the sale was expected to close by the end of September, the agency declined the initial offer. Following a closed session in October, the council voted to extend consideration of the sale until Dec. 15.

City Administrator Chris Ziegler said the sale closing deadline has now been extended to Feb. 12, though he expects it to be completed sooner.

In other business Tuesday, the council approved a letter of support for Heartland Senior Living’s renovation project for Parker Oaks Communities.

Heartland Senior Living is a local non-profit community corporation that agreed to buy Parker Oaks Retirement Communities in Winnebago, Parkview Care Center in Wells and Truman Senior Living in Truman.

The renovations involve a 12-unit, 16,000-square foot assisted-living addition on the Parker Oaks campus in Winnebago, with nine one-bedroom and three two-bedroom additions. The addition will include a community and administrative space to be used not only by Parker Oaks residents, but by members of the community.

The renovation plans were presented to the council at the Dec. 13 meeting. Following the presentation, the council showed support for the project and agreed to write the letter.

“This is definitely a monumental development for our community,” the letter reads. “It will be a boon in the areas of economic development, employment opportunities and most importantly, updated facilities and services for our seniors. As you well know, our senior population is our fastest-growing population segment. For us to be a successful, thriving community, we must meet the needs of our seniors head-on.”

Council member Jean Anderson, who serves on the Heartland Senior Living board of directors, said the project is proceeding according to plan, and bidding should be going out at the end of January.

“It’s a done deal and everybody’s excited,” she said.

In other action, the council:

o Approved a proposal from Jim’s Mowing and Janitorial Service for the city’s lawn mowing contract.

o Accepted a $7,000 donation from Winnebago American Legion Post 82 to the Winnebago Fire Department for the purchase of thermal-imaging cameras and $100 from Louise Patten to the Muir Library for the purchase of materials.