Olmsted County's plan to buy the Fisherman’s Inn property is not your ordinary catch.
The purchase also will allow the county to transfer the historic Biermann House for private use.
County commissioners voted 6-1 on Tuesday to approve the $750,000 purchase agreement for the restaurant on the shore of Lake Zumbro.
“This looks to be a very good and viable land option for us,” said Karlin Ziegler, Olmsted County’s parks superintendent.
The planned purchase is designed to allow the county to transfer the Biermann House to Rochester businessman Joe Powers, who has vowed to restore the vacant building and convert it to rental housing.
Nine properties are on the list for potential new parkland to finalize the sale of the histo…
Olmsted County must purchase new parkland before it can finalize the sale of the historic Bi…
The Biermann House was purchased in 1979 using state and federal grants, so the county is obligated to replace it with land of equal value for new recreational purposes.
The county had hoped to use tax-forfeited land to replace the Biermann property, which is assessed with a $310,000 replacement value. The earlier proposed land swap, however, failed to meet state and federal approval.
“This has been a very long and drawn-out process,” Commissioner Sheila Kiscaden noted in signaling approval for the purchase of Fisherman’s Inn.
Board Chairman Jim Bier provided the only dissenting vote, without adding comment.
Plans presented Tuesday call for using the Fisherman’s Inn site, which has a taxable value of $462,500, as an expansion of the county’s nearby White Bridge Pier site. While the restaurant will likely need to be demolished, the location allows the county to add a boat launch and parking for greater public access to the lake.
Ziegler said it will also allow the county to tweak its master plan for White Bridge Pier, which will increase the amount of green space and recreation areas.
The purchase is expected to close on Jan. 3. The county earlier contributed $525,000 to a $7 million lake dredging project.
Ziegler said the new proposed swap for the Biermann House isn’t a done deal. While state officials have voiced support for the plan, the paperwork needs to be submitted and reviewed once the purchase agreement is in place.
“The land checks off all the boxes we need to check off,” Ziegler said, noting the National Park Service will have the final say in the process after the proposal is reviewed by several agencies.