Stacy sports complex called for icing

Though hockey season is several months away, the North Branch Area Hockey Association (NBAHA) has been moving forward slowly on the Stacy Sports Complex project.

The Stacy City council was visited by sports complex project coordinator Craig Moline and Mark Bigelbach, president of Conquest, a sports facility development and management company consulting for the NBAHA.

Moline said the bank will not loan any more money to the project because of a technicality in the contract language.

Bigelbach said because of the lease situation by the city to the sports complex, the bank wants the association in “first position in case something happens.”

Bigelbach said specifically, the bank’s concern is the city would sell the land or forfeit. The contract is written so that when the mortgage is paid, the entire complex is turned over to the city.

Moline said that while the bank will bond for the entire project “in one shot,” the NBAHA cannot afford to go through with this option right now.

Bigelbach suggested a council question and answer session to cover the details.

Mayor Mark Utecht asked if anyone around the table recalled why the city wanted to retain ownership of the land.

City Attorney Peter Grundhoefer remembered the reason is because the water tower is directly adjacent to the sports complex land.

Moline said when the property is paid off it becomes city property. The NBAHA is offering a permanent easement to the water tower until that time. Moline said, “This would make the banks happy.”

The city’s risk in taking first position on legal documents is Stacy could be stuck with a foreclosure. The mayor said the city is not in a position to assume a mortgage, but he is willing to look at options. Grundhoefer advised scheduling a work session.

The mayor asked the NBAHA to come back with an estimate of any cost and language on a blanket easement to the city, or, as Councilor Chuck Lucia said, “We’re at a standstill now.”

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