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home : columns : columns May 24, 2016

7/24/2013 9:18:00 AM
The Towlerton building
How do we weigh the value of a key piece of economic development property versus a move that could potentially streamline county government?
That is a question that could, at some point, move into the spotlight for Cottonwood County. At this point, it's a little more like that pot of water awaiting the first few cobs of sweet corn. It's getting warm, but not yet to the boiling point.
A couple of weeks ago, Cottonwood County commissioners met for 42 minutes in closed session to discuss the possible purchase of what the minutes describe as "a property located at 1815 1st Avenue in Windom," known by most local residents as "the Towlerton building."
At this point, the purchase is only in the research phase. It's a safe bet that county officials see this as an opportunity for the county to take county offices, now scattered in multiple sites (many of which are rentals), and put them under one county-owned roof.
Costly renovations would obviously be required, and commissioners would need to weigh long-term benefits in efficiency and savings, versus standing pat. But what about the property's economic development value?
I realize that businesses have not been lining up to purchase this property. Among the factors in this could be price, marketing and the size of the property. We cannot deny that this location, at the intersection of two of the region's most heavily traveled highways, is a prime target for development.
Stay tuned. The Towlerton building issue may still have a few more twists before all is said and done.

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