School board accepts offer on Main Street School site

Photo by Derrick Knutson
Photo by Derrick Knutson

The old Main Street School site in North Branch has looked like a large soccer field since the school was demolished about two years ago, but construction on the site might be a possibility again after the North Branch Area Public Schools School Board accepted an offer on the land at its April 25 meeting.

Dan Peterson, the school’s real estate agent, said the land had been on the market for $349,000.

The offer the board accepted from Jerry Peterson, the owner of Peterson’s Country Mill in North Branch, was for $250,000.

Dan Peterson told the board the offer by Jerry Peterson was a good one because there were no contingencies coupled with it.

“It’s cut and dried,” he said. “This is a good offer. It’s cash; it makes sense.”

He also said he didn’t look at accepting the $250,000 offer as losing about $100,000 because the land was only worth that much if somebody was willing to pay that amount.

“If you put something up for sale for $1 million, if it doesn’t sell, it’s not worth $1 million,” Dan Peterson  said.

Superintendent Deb Henton asked Dan Peterson how much money in taxes would be paid on the land now that it’s in the hands of a private owner.

The real estate agent told Henton taxes on the land would be about $10,000 a year.

When reached for comment about the sale Monday, Jerry Peterson said he didn’t have any specific plans for the land right now, but he wants to “keep (the area) out of commercial development, if possible.”

“A local person coming in and wanting to do good with that property is a win-win situation,” School Board Member Tim MacMillan said.

  • Joe Sasuen

    Three cheers for Mr Peterson! With his agricultural background and long-time ties to the city, he will surly be a great landlord for this piece of history laden property.
    When the site was ‘reclaimed’ there was $28,000 worth of black dirt / topsoil hauled onto the site. Maybe Mr. Peterson, with the help of the wonderful folks at the Peterson Garden Center, could sponsor some city gardens plots there. Wouldn’t it be an eye-opener for all of the travelers passing by on #95 to refer to North Branch as ‘The city with all of those gardens plots right in the middle of town!’