City buys farm parcel, adds land to Business Park North

By: 
Bill Livick

The Common Council unanimously accepted a landowner’s counter-offer last week in a deal that will add 36 acres to the city’s Business Park North.

The city is using funds available in Tax Incremental Financing District 3 to cover the $1.36 million cost of the land.

The property is part of the Moe Family Farm and is adjacent to the Business Park.

The city and the Moe family have been in negotiations over the property for several months, and the actual sale won’t be completed until possibly as late as June.

But city officials are delighted to be able to add the 36.37-acre parcel to the business park, which is essentially full. When Nelson Global Products built its new headquarters there last year, the city had to relocate an arboretum in order to provide space for the building.

“We desperately need that land,” Mayor Donna Olson said of the purchase.

The council also approved a farm use agreement that allows Lyle Moe to continue to farm the acres.

“It’s a yearly use agreement, because we know that it will probably be June before the sale is complete,” Olson said.

“As a farm girl, I know it’s silly just to let that land sit there. He ordered the seed last fall. Let him use the land and plant the crops, and it keeps the acreage productive.”

According to the agreement, after the sale the tenant will be allowed to grow his soybean crop and will have until Dec. 15 to harvest it.

The land purchase agreement stipulates that the Moe family will also petition to have the city annex the property.

Olson said city planning director Rodney Scheel will work to have the 36 acres certified so that they can be added to a list the State of Wisconsin holds for certified business park land.

“Anyone looking at Wisconsin to place a business looks to this list to find the certified sites,” Olson explained. “There are certain criteria you have to meet to be allowed to get on that list. We didn’t have a place for those larger new businesses to build. Now we do.”

Council president Eric Hohol said acquiring the property will boost economic development in Stoughton and is “good for the city’s future because it supports industrial development.”