Blue Earth council weighs property repurchase request

BLUE EARTH — The matter of a property that Bruce Stensland has been trying to repurchase from Faribault County came up again at the Blue Earth City Council meeting this week.

Stensland appeared before the council to ask its members to rescind their objection to him repurchasing the site, which is the location of Bruce’s Auto Repair. Stensland has been at the location for 25 years.

“The place has been cleaned up and I have a certified check with the county auditor for the back taxes and the penalties,” Stensland told the council.

Mayor Rick Scholtes asked what assurances Stensland could give to the council that the property would remain cleaned up.

“It is my plan to keep it that way,” he replied. “I am working with a bank on a low-interest loan so I can get doors on the building. The plan is to utilize the building for camper storage.”

Stensland did receive some positive comments during the discussion.

“Everyone knows you are a great mechanic,” said council member Glenn Gaylord. “We want to see you succeed just like other businesses in town.”

Josh Stensland, who is Bruce Stensland’s son, also spoke at the meeting.

“I want to thank the council members for the civil dialogue,” he said. “This is a chance for you to support a local business.”

Some council members believe the decision is out of the city’s hands.

“Let’s let the county decide what they want to do,” said council member John Huisman.

No action was taken regarding the property.

The council also took up a proposal by Blue Earth Light and Water, along with Energy Insight, to upgrade the lighting and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) units at all city buildings. The council passed a motion to proceed with a proposal listing 91 projects. The cost is $478,000.

Blue Earth Light and Water will carry the bond while the city of Blue Earth will pay it off through receipt of utility bill payments.


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