Hormel asks county to spruce up its side of shared building

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 3, 2000

Hormel Foods Corp.

Wednesday, May 03, 2000

Hormel Foods Corp. wants Mower County and other tenants of the old Kmart building complex to consider improvements to their properties.

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Hormel Foods is in the midst of a major renovation of the former Kmart store portion of the complex. It is turning it into a museum, gift center and office building.

According to County Coordinator Craig Oscarson, who met with Hormel Foods’ representatives recently, the company wants Mower County and the other tenants to reseal and resurface its parking lot and paint or make other exterior fascia improvements to the buildings that connect to the Hormel Foods’ portion.

"Ideally, they would like us to continue with their theme," Oscarson told the commissioners Tuesday. "They are doing that to be good neighbors."

Austin Medical Center owns the far south portion of the area in question, where a Wendy’s restaurant once was located.

Oscarson said an "old agreement" for the individual tenants of the area requires them to maintain the parking lot.

The commissioners referred the request to the building committee and will ask County Engineer Mike Hanson to investigate.

In other action Tuesday, the county commissioners:

– Approved a contract with Iverson Hauling and Steve Iverson to take over all recyclable collection duties in greater Mower County. Cedar Valley Services Inc. contracts with the county to pick up recyclables in the city of Austin and adjoining apartment complexes.

– Approved $4,255 for the purchase of exercise equipment for use by prisoners incarcerated in the Mower County Jail. The money will come from the county jail’s canteen account, which has a balance of $30,000.

– Acknowledged another monthly meeting scheduled with the city of Austin on May 10. At the suggestion of County Chief Deputy Attorney Glen M. Jacobsen, the county commissioners will inquire as to the city’s willingness to make off-street parking available for county employees. Most of the long-term parking spaces in the city’s downtown lots are used by employees of downtown businesses.

The county recently agreed to sell to the city of Austin the former driver license examination building property, which was used for a county employees’ parking lot. The agreement calls for the city to pay $25,000 less than the appraised value of the property. Many county government center employees park their vehicles along city streets in the downtown area, where parking is limited to a maximum of two hours. When two hours expires, the government center employees leave their jobs in the government center and move their vehicles to another spot to avoid receiving an overtime parking ticket.

– Approved an agreement to have Family Connections pay $300 per month to cover administrative costs of sharing office space with the Mower County Extension Service in the lower level of the government center. The county earlier had agreed to provide clerical support for Family Connections’ family facilitators.

– Approved the hiring of three temporary summer employees for the Mower County Extension Service. Two will work in clerical capacities in the Extension Service offices and the third will work in the Extension Service’s noxious weed information booth during the Mower County Fair this summer.