BY COUNCILOR STOVER:
RESOLVED, that the proper city officials are authorized to enter into an agreement with Praxair, Inc., and the Duluth economic development authority granting easements for the construction of temporary and permanent roadways connecting West Superior Street to West Michigan Street through the Oneota III area and committing the city to construct temporary and permanent roads over those easements.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: The purpose of this resolution is to authorize an agreement with Praxair and DEDA pursuant to which Praxair and DEDA grant both temporary and permanent easements over certain property they own in Oneota III to allow for the construction of, first, a temporary street connecting West Superior Street from its present terminus at the west side of the Praxair property to West Michigan Street and, later, to allow a permanent street at a more desirable location to be constructed, replacing it.
Praxair is the successor in interest to the old Union Carbide plant located between West Michigan Street and the former Northern Pacific Railroad trackage and, generally east of 38th Avenue West which used to manufacture acetylene. The present owner, Praxair, is no longer manufacturing gas and is using the property mostly for storage; a majority of the approximately six acre site is substantially vacant. In the long term, they would like to either redevelop the property or sell it for redevelopment.
In order to do so, it would be advantageous for a road to be extended through the site. This would also serve to make DEDA’s property more valuable.
For over 20 years, a road connection from above-referenced terminus of West Superior Street has been envisioned which would run from that point to a point on West Michigan Street approximately at platted 37th Avenue West. Such a street would not only enhance the development potential of Praxair’s and DEDA’s property but would also greatly improve traffic circulation in the area.
One of the byproducts of the acetylene manufacturing process is lime. During the use of the site for that purpose, a substantial amount of lime accumulated and was dumped on the site; unfortunately, that dump site is directly in the way of the most advantageous street alignment. Praxair is presently working with MPCA on a long term program to remove all of the lime from the site. But that may take some time.
This agreement calls for the dedication by Praxair and DEDA of easements for a temporary road which could speed development of the properties but also provides for the granting of permanent easements so that a new, permanent road could be constructed in the future when the lime issue has been dealt with.
It is anticipated that the city and DEDA will enter into an agreement to share the costs of constructing the temporary and the permanent road, based on available funding sources.