by April Scheinoha
Digi-Key’s plans to purchase a city-owned property are apparently moving forward. The Thief River Falls City Council met in closed session Tuesday, April 4 to discuss an asking price for the Municipal Service Center property, which will be used as the company’s future parking lot. Even though no decision has apparently been made, the city is planning to store its equipment at another location.
Digi-Key is planning to build a fulfillment, valued-added manufacturing and warehouse center on the site of its current western parking lot. A skywalk would connect the new building to the current facility. Located southwest of Digi-Key, the city property would become the company’s new western parking lot.
Digi-Key would like the Electric Department to move by July 31 in order to facilitate the start of construction in spring 2018.
Digi-Key’s project is estimated to add an additional 1,000-plus jobs over 10 years at Digi-Key. The building, technology and equipment are expected to be an investment of $300 million in Thief River Falls, according to information provided by the city.
On Tuesday, the council met in closed session for about 15 minutes to discuss the proposed sale of the Municipal Service Center buildings and property. After the meeting was reopened to the public, there was no indication as to whether the council had reached a consensus regarding an asking price.
This was the second time that the council has met in closed session regarding the proposed purchase. After the March 8 closed session, the council reopened the meeting, saying that it wanted to have an appraiser determine the value of the Municipal Service Center buildings and property. Digi-Key has already provided a monetary offer to the city, but it hasn’t been publicly disclosed.
Even though a sale has yet to be approved, the council moved forward on plans to move equipment out of the Municipal Service Center buildings. As part of a temporary storage agreement, Clayton Thompson and Verna Thompson will be paid $750 per month from now until March 31, 2018. According to online county property tax records, the property is located at 17938 140th Ave. N.E.
Council Member Curt Howe abstained from voting since Clayton Thompson is his father-in-law. Council Member Rachel Prudhomme was absent from the meeting.
Digi-Key’s expansion plans are also progressing at the State Capitol. Mayor Brian Holmer said both bills have passed the Minnesota House and Senate. He indicated that they are awaiting a conference committee, which is expected to convene after the Easter break.