The Thief River Falls City Council is considering the sale of some prime real estate in downtown Thief River Falls. The council met in closed session after its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, Feb. 2 to discuss the potential sale.

The council discussed the sale of city-owned property legally described as Lots 1-12, Block 38 of the Original Townsite of Thief River Falls. The Times has since learned that the property description corresponds with a municipal parking lot next to Floyd B. Olson Park.

Council members met in closed session for about 40 minutes. They are allowed to meet in closed session to discuss the sale of real property. After the closed session ended, the council reopened the meeting to the public. No decision was announced at that time.

In March 2019, the council approved a nonbinding letter of intent to sell a portion of that municipal parking lot and a small portion of the adjacent park for $100,000 to McShane Development LLC. The sale was subject to a purchase agreement, a mutual development agreement, rezoning and legal review. The firm was working on behalf of Thrifty White at the time. A month later, the council rejected a rezoning request for the property after noting that McShane hadn’t complied with a Planning Commission request to limit its development to the parking lot. No action was taken after that time.

Contingent on signatures from a couple listed below, City Council approved a joint resolution with North Township for the orderly annexation of three properties. The properties are owned by Frankhanel LLC; Ryan and Jamie Bakken; and Joan Bakke.

Frankhanel LLC purchased a 49.5-acre property between Technology Street and First Street, east of Pennington County State Aid Highway 16. In an interview with The Times, Public Works Director Mark Borseth said he expected multi-family housing or townhomes to be built there.

Bakke and the Bakkens own homes along Nelson Drive. They requested annexation in order to connect to city water and sanitary sewer.

North Township was expected to consider the joint resolution at its meeting a day earlier.

City Council approved a Commercial Energy Improvement Loan for Old Bostwick’s. The seven-year $76,082 loan has an interest rate of 2%. The loan is secured by a mortgage on the property.

Jill Stenberg sought the loan to replace windows and doors at the business. She told the council that the project will provide an additional 15,000 square feet of retail space. The entire project is estimated to cost $190,205.94.

The council approved updating the job description for deputy city clerk and opening the position for filling. Jennifer Nelson recently resigned from the position.

At its Jan. 19, in a split vote, the council tabled a proposal to update the description. The following week, the council met as the Committee of the Whole to discuss the position. At that time, it was clarified that the position continues to be a Grade Level 4 position similar to other secretarial positions in the city.

As part of its consent agenda, the council extended the state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic through Friday, Feb. 12. The extension enables the city to potentially recoup some of its expenses during the pandemic. The council has extended the state of emergency many times since the pandemic began.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.