By Chad Koenen
The City of New York Mills could soon be looking for a new maintenance shop.
During its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday night, the city council learned that NY Mills Utility Supervisor Kyle Mattson was approached by representatives from Brunswick/Lunds about the city-owned shop and land adjacent to Brunswick. The two sides did not discuss a purchase price, yet, the inquiry was meant to gauge the city’s interest in potentially selling the building and land that also includes where the recycling containers are located.
“Brunswick has reached out to us again, (to) inquire about selling the city utility shop and the property associated with it,” said Mattson. “The only thing they need from us is that we are going to entertain an offer from them.”
Mattson said the facility is looking to expand and needs more land. Since the city garage is adjacent to the expansive boat manufacturing plant the city shop seemed like a natural place for expansion. The city currently owns 4.8 acres of land near the city shop, with existing infrastructure in place.
Councilman Jerry Nesland said the city should at least entertain an offer from Brunswick and see if it can help that business expand. In the past, he said the city has done what it can to help Brunswick/Lunds grow, even if that means relocating something like the city shop to another location in town.
“From a city standpoint, and the New York Mills City Council, in the past has sold property to support the growth of the local boat works. So I think tonight is yes or no to let them make a proposal to us,” he said.
If the city and Brunswick were to be able to come to an agreement on a purchase price, Nesland said the city will need to relocate its shop quickly in order to let the project take place.
Mattson thought the city would need to be out of the city shop by June 1.
“They would like to move fast, just being the nature of manufacturing and we can work with that,” said Nesland.
The city has already identified several locations in town that a new shop could be constructed, and in the meantime, the city could store some of the equipment in the shop at other spots throughout town. Most of the equipment in the shop can be moved and Mattson said he would be able to have an office in another city building temporarily.
“There are a couple of other buildings we can use for storage,” he said. “It is nothing set in stone either. We can reject their offer.”
Councilman Josh Hoaby said the opportunity could be a win-win for both Brunswick/Lunds and the city if the two sides could come to an agreement.
“Maybe it could work out where we can get a new shop and they get some more space,” he said.
Hoaby said the city may even get enough for the building and land that it could offset most of the cost of a new city shop.
The council approved moving forward with negotiating an offer from Brunswick for the city shop and will discuss the offer at a later date.