Ramsey County says it has struck a deal with the federal government to purchase the land for an Arden Hills Vikings stadium-- and that it'll be under budget and cleaned up when the deal gets done.
County officials delivered a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton's office this afternoon. It says the county has a formal Offer to Purchase from the General Services Administration for a 430 acre Arden Hills stadium site, and that it's "within the $30 million budgeted for the acquisition and clean up of the property."
The letter doesn't give a firm dollar figure, but says the county will be allowed to deduct the price of cleaning the place up from the purchase price.
There's a second clause as well: the county says it has a fixed price quote from "an experienced local contractor with substantial experience on the TCAAP property" that "caps the demolition, hazardous waste abatement and remediation costs at a dollar amount that is significantly less than the amount of credit available to the County against the GSA's proposed price."
And finally, the letter says that the offer commits the cleanup contractor to have the stadium footprint available within 9 months of signing a contract.
That's in stark contrast to the doubts raised in an October report from the Metropolitan Council that pegged the land acquisition and clean up costs between $23 million and $70 million. The upside of that range was described as a significant risk factor in calculating the cost of the deal.
"We believe the county has now addressed the primary cost concerns raised by your analysis," the letter concludes.
Read it for yourself here:
beginning of the end of anti stadium vike oppoents
So, Ramsey county has excess capital laying around to allocate to this real estate purchase? Seems a bit pre-mature given the current conditions around the proposed deal.
It is a very bad decision by the Vikings to be in the middle of nowhere. The stadium should be downtown Minneapolis!
As a former resident of Cleveland Ohio, no amount of concessions to an NFL team guarantees that the team will stick around. I say let the owners of the team fund the project. There is no comparison to the revenue generated by a new baseball stadium. The Vikings will have about 8 games a year in the stadium. The Twins play that many games in some weeks.
One question. Where will all that cleaned up Toxic waste end up? It doesn't just vanish. It has to go somewhere. Better not be in my backyard, or in the air I breath.
Arden Hills is far from the middle of nowhere, and it's a no-brainer for the Vikings. The outrage over "public funding for private businesses" is nonsense: this happens all the time with municipalities and business relocations/expansions (in the form of land deals, tax exemptions, financing, etc.).
According to the Star Tribune, in Minnesota alone hundreds of millions of public dollars every year are spent on private company expansion, development, and improvements.....all through Tax Increment Financing, or TIF.
TIF takes future property tax increases and spends them in the present on private enterprises. Best Buy, Medtronic, Mall of America, and hundreds of smaller enterprises have been past receipients. Why is a Viking stadium any different? Haven't you heard, the government creates jobs, not rich people.
Cant' wait to refer back to this letter as the biggest understatement of the year when they find out how much it really is going to cost them to clean it up.
If the Ramsey County website wasn't conveniently down; you would be able to click here
and see County did not follow the Capital Improvement Program Planning Process before committing to bond for a stadium.
Ramsey County has a rating system in place to decide if the county should invest money on a project and prioritize project requests; the stadium proposal has not been through the rating process.
The Stadium proposal should treated just like any other Capital Improvement project request. The project proposal should be ranked by the Capital Improvement Program Advisory Committee and the County Manager and it’s rating made available to the public before agreeing to bond for it.
Funding for a stadium is not like funding a manufacturing business. After we fund their stadium, the vikes will gather our money and send it out of state. We can find better ways to spend the money within the state if the legislature is itching to spend some money.