Freeborn Co. board studying land for trail
ALBERT LEA — Freeborn County commissioners on Tuesday ordered a full appraisal be conducted on the land the county hopes to acquire from Union Pacific Railroad.
The appraisal is required under a federal grant the county received for $150,000.
The grant would go toward acquiring 12.6 miles of Union Pacific railroad property for a multi-use trail from Hartland to Albert Lea.
The county has been negotiating with railroad officials for several months.
Freeborn County Administrator John Kluever said four companies offered bids. The low bid, which was approved, came from Johnson Appraisal Co. for $7,000.
The work should be completed within 45 days.
In the meantime, the county is also waiting to hear back about a state grant to see if it will get any additional funds.
Union Pacific workers have been removing tracks since this summer from the route. Up and down much of the corridor, the tracks are sitting to the side, and railroad ties have nothing to hold up.
Union Pacific filed papers in March with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board for abandonment of the route.