FCDC officially acquires Wannigan Park land

Photo by Robert Williams
Upon successful completion of an asbestos inspection of the former Seip building, the all-clear has been given for its demolition, along with the former Sanders Oil Company. Seip Drug has a week to remove records it has stored in the basement. Demolition will occur when that deadline lapses.

By Robert Williams


An asbestos inspection determined there were no asbestos-containing materials detected in the former Seip Drug building, which will allow the buildings to be torn down once records belonging to Seip Drug are removed from the basement. 

Seip Drug has until the end of the week to complete the removal before the demolition will begin, according to mayor Mark Flemmer’s monthly report given to the city council on Monday, June 12.

Wannigan Park

The land that will become Wannigan Regional Park has officially been purchased and is now owned by the Frazee Community Development Corporation (FCDC), according to FCDC representative Karen Pifher. The land ownership will be transferred to the city later this year.

A decision was also made on including the removal of the gravity sewer line that spans the Otter Tail River as an amendment to the bonding project that includes next year’s scheduled construction on East Main Avenue.

Ulteig technical project lead Chris Thorson submitted a completed feasibility study in April based on current material prices and bidding climates. The project estimate for the replacement of the 1964 sanitary sewer collection pipe, new piping under the river and replacement of the 1986 main sanitary sewer pumping station and accompanying backup electrical generator building is $1,803,000.

An estimated $1.3 million project to connect city infrastructure to the park is part of a separate bonding application that needs to be filed with the state this month to be considered by the legislature in 2024.

Pifher has worked on two different bonding applications for the city of Moorhead and has been a frequent visitor to St. Paul to lobby legislators on behalf of the Wannigan project. Pifher will be assisting city administrator Stephanie Poegel on the submissions.

The park purchase was completed with legacy funds while bonding initiatives have to go through the city, according to Pifher.

Eagle Lake Park sale delayed

The title commitment company will not give a marketable title to the Eagle Lake Park property without a quiet title action being completed.

The Frazee City Council was closing in on finalizing the sale of Eagle Lake Park to the Eagle Lake Park Association, Inc., a non-profit corporation made up of area homeowners in February. The agreement was made in 2022 after much discussion, but a formal approval of the sale for $190,000 was never signed.

A 45-day purchase agreement extension was granted to complete all surveying to avoid any title issues going forward.

A quiet title action is a 60-90-day process, according to city attorney Thomas Winters, with an estimated cost of up to $10,000 of legal fees.

According to attorneys representing the buyers, the group is still willing to purchase the property provided there is a marketable title.

Winters provided three options for the city to either commence the quiet title action and get a marketable title, cancel the current purchase agreement, commence the quiet title action and put the property back up for sale or for the city to keep the property.

The council approved a motion to proceed with the title action and continue the sale.

Summer Recreation funding

The council had a lengthy discussion on future donations of approximately $10,000 annually to the summer rec program. The program is currently running a deficit in the $14-16,000 range. The city council does not have money budgeted for the program in 2023.

The council approved a motion to add summer rec as a budget line item with a dollar amount to be determined during end of the year budget planning. 

The council elected to use enterprise funds (water, sewer, liquor) to assist the program this year and agreed to transfer $5,000 from the liquor store fund to the event center fund and then to the summer rec program.

“I would like to see the school and the city mesh together again,” said councilman Jim Rader.

The donation is contingent upon information from the school that the council has previously requested.

Summer recreation was formerly a city program before being transferred to the school.

Temporary Road Closure

The city council approved a temporary road closure on Cherry Avenue on Saturday, July 22, from 2-5 p.m., for a motorcycle stunt show. Last summer, Josh “Bubba” Samuelson turned a celebration of his birthday into a full-on, mid-summer, motorcycle extravaganza for the public.