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City Leaders Decline to Sell Property

September 26, 2013

The city lot that was formerly the Elk's parking lot, was the center of attention at a city meeting Tuesday when the Valley City City Commission declined to act upon a request to sell the lot for development.

The old Elks parking lot on Main Street in Valley City won't be developed immediately. During a special meeting of the Valley City City Commission on Tuesday, commissioners declined to make a motion to sell the property through open bidding.
According to Valley City City Commissioner Mary Lee Nielson, the consensus of the commission at this time is to leave the lot as-is. The city needs a parking lot for community events like Rally in the Valley, she said.
However, the Valley Development Corporation has an agreement with the city to develop the property.
When Valley City was building a new swimming pool, funding for the project came up about $100,000 short, according to Jennifer Feist, Director of Development for the Valley Development Corporation. The development corporation provided funding for the project; in return an agreement was made giving the group the right to develop the property in the future.
"We are charged with the development of the lot," said Feist. "We have an opportunity to develop that lot," she said later.
According to Valley City Mayor Bob Werkhoven, the plan commissioners heard about for a restaurant "didn't fit. It was the wrong type of business for that area."
The lot, according to Werkhoven, is on a controlled-access area of Main Street, and traffic flow would be a problem. In fact, a North Dakota Department of Transportation official was at the meeting to express traffic flow concerns.
In addition, the Valley City Chamber of Commerce, whose offices are located in the Rosebud Center on the western edge of the lot, also did not support the project.
According to Feist, the next step for the potential developer would be to show the commission a detailed plan, including architect's renderings and traffic flow plan, of the proposed project.

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