Surprise, Surprise; NOT!
by Silence Dogood
Monday evening the St. Cloud City Council unanimously approved a land swap brokered by Mayor Kleis between the city and SCSU’s President Earl H. Potter. Essentially, Mayor Kleis fleeced SCSU out of a 50-acre parcel of land on the East side of St. Cloud by swapping it for a couple of acres of what amounts to some pretty valueless property south of the St. Cloud campus.
What did the city get? A 50-acre parcel which is a natural area with several water-filled quarries. What did the city have to give up? The 66-foot wide right of way for a road that no longer exists, a small vacant lot, and a little-used and unneeded storage yard. Total acreage of the three city properties is less than a few acres.
Based on the ‘appraised’ values of the property, the city came out ahead by $34,000. However, based on the real value of the swapped properties, the city took President Potter and SCSU ‘to the cleaners.’ The deal needs to be approved by the MnSCU Board of Trustees before it becomes final. However, the Board also approved the lease between the Wedum Foundation and SCSU that has already cost the university $7,700,000 with the potential to cost the university another $6,000,000 over the next five years of the lease. So much for sanity prevailing.