Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, July 17, 2000

Old Lester bandstand awaits its sentence

By Jane Otto

Once the home to weekly band concerts and free movies, the old bandstand on Central Avenue now stands in disrepair awaiting its fate.

Council member Ruth Halloran said the park board has recommended that the bandstand be tore down. The board, she said, agreed that the bandstand is in too poor shape to refurbish and thus, too costly to bring it up to code.

Another factor weighing its decision is that the structure is not on city property.

A motion was made to tear down the bandstand, but failed when City Clerk Marilyn Pawelk advised, "You don't want to do this."

She said if the council wanted to bring the structure up to code, that it could possibly be done piecemeal, if repairs were made gradually.

"To put money into something when it's not on city property is not the way to go," said Halloran.

"It might fall apart if you try to move it," said council member Rollie Bruckschen.

It also wouldn't be wise to sell it in its existing condition, he said.

"We need to see if there's any emotional attachment to it," said Mayor Eric Angvall. "We don't know how much interest there is in it."

If there is any interest at large, the public will have its chance to comment on the bandstand issue at the Monday, Aug. 7 council meeting at 8:30 p.m.

The council went from old to new when it discussed the vacant lots at Prairie Meadows.

The city will contract with Laurie Karnes of Land for Sale, Inc. to have her sell the remaining vacant lots in Prairie Meadows, a development on Cedar Street, north of Second Avenue South.

Council member Ron Foust said Karnes researches the land and then works with brokers and developers to sell the property.

Foust said he told Karnes that the lots should be built upon within 12 months of the sale date.

"I told her that what I really don't want her to do is to find a broker and then, that broker buys all the remaining lots and sits on them for five years," Foust said.

Bruckschen said it should also be stipulated that she work on only those lots in Lester Prairie and not developments in the outlying area.

As for costs, Foust said that Karnes works at 8 percent commission, but by raising the price of the lots, the city could recoup its costs.

It was agreed to raise the cost per lot by 10 percent. The contract will have an Oct. 31 deadline at which time either the city or Karnes, depending on how the lots sales go, can renew or reject the contract.

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