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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Isanti moves forward with concept plan for rail industrial park

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Isanti, Minn., is moving forward with the Isanti Rail Industrial Park development process, the Isanti County News reports. During a recent Isanti City Council meeting, it authorized city engineer Bolton & Menk, Inc. to provide professional engineering services for the preparation of a conceptual layout and facility plan for the Isanti Rail Industrial Park.

Estimated fees for the work include $10,000 for engineering services associated with the conceptual layout plan and $20,000 for engineering services for the preparation and submittal of a wastewater treatment facility plan.

City Engineer Brad DeWolf said the rail industrial park will be a large project intended for a long-term economic growth for the city of Isanti, and said a project of this size will involve many agencies and components to advance the project from the conceptual stage to a functioning industrial development.

DeWolf said the primary the goal of the conceptual layout plan is to establish a concept that can be used in the planning and negotiating for a rail spur from BNSF.

The conceptual plan will include:

• A conceptual layout of the railroad spur and associated rail components; 

• The developable areas within he existing city owned property;

• The developable areas of potential future annexations and;

• The layout of the proposed water main improvements, sanitary sewer collection improvements, storm water management improvements and proposed street improvements including the possibility of railroad crossing to allow access to Hwy. 65.

DeWolf said the primary goal of the wastewater treatment facility plan is to develop a working plan for meeting the current and future wastewater needs of the city with the addition of the rail industrial park. 

Isanti Mayor George Wimmer said the city has had a couple of businesses come to them and ask about a rail industrial park, and the city has had discussions with Ever Cat Fuels about the project, as well.

"We already went through this with the county and we already have businesses in line that want this," Wimmer said. "It's going to be an industrial park whether it has rail service or not. We are going to take a look at what we are going to use it for and develop it within stages.

"We need to have this concept plan done so we can take a more in depth look at this," Wimmer added.

Council Member Sue Larson said the industrial rail park has been discussed for several years.

"We have discussed the rail industrial park for a number of years, and it's something we really need in the region, as stated by multiple entities," Larson said. "When we hire a person for economic development part of our marketing strategy is to market the industrial rail site."

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