March 8, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 10

Fate of Romiad building still uncertain

The Petersburg City Council will meet for a second time this week. In a special session, open to the public the council members and the mayor will discuss the terms of the loan agreement between the Petersburg Economic Development Council (PEDC) and local business-owner Pete Litsheim.

The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8, in the City Council Chambers to discuss approval of the loan agreement between PEDC and Diamante` Gift Shoppe.

The council on Feb. 21, had voted to unanimously approve a loan of $210,000, at 5 percent interest, to move the 29-year-old Romiad building.

“While the Council did vote to move forward with the plans to loan money to help get the Romiad building moved, additional concerns were voiced by several Council members, Mr. Litsheim and the Deputy State Fire Marshal. These concerns include permits, cost of title insurance on the collateral, amount of the collateral, site plan for the proposed location of the building, and the approval of the actual loan agreement,” said Petersburg City Manager Stephen Giesbrecht.

“Mr. Litsheim had numerous concerns regarding several of these issues and requested that the City drop some of the requirements noted in the loan agreement. As part of their fiduciary responsibilities, the City Council has the obligation to ask for and receive sufficient safe guards when public money is at stake,” he added.

Litsheim plans to move the vacant Romiad Building from its current location near the corner of 2nd and Haugen to across the street and down a block to an empty lot next to Scandia House on N. Nordic Drive. He will rent specialized equipment from a company in Iowa to move the building, he said.

“I've got my i's dotted and t's crossed, but there's a certain amount of things you can't do until you have the money,” Litsheim said. “I've got to know that we have the money before I can proceed.”

Rock-N-Road Construction currently owns the building, and is under contract to have the building removed from the lot by March 31.

The public is invited to attend Thursday's meeting.

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