In the coming months Amery's City Hall, Library and Police Department are slated to share space in a new location according to an announcement made at City Council Wednesday, January 8.
The city has purchased the current Bremer Bank building for $350,000.
Mayor Paul Isakson said, “I can’t give all of the history, but I can give some. Due to unforeseen circumstances, staying in the condo association turned out to be beyond our means. I went to Bremer Bank and said ‘This would make a great library and city offices and Bremer said hey we would like to sell and build a brand new facility downtown.’ That being said we went to Amery Hospital and Clinic and asked if we could get out of their condo association and they agreed. We went back to Bremer and said, ‘We would like to buy your building if you are going to build a new one downtown.’ It all came to fruition today.”
“Bremer has placed earnest money down on a piece of property in Amery and is ready to move forward and I believe we are ready to move forward also. This is going to be a trying time for the next year, but we need to look forward to this positively and get this done. The main goal here is to get the library moved and up and running, get the new Bremer building built and get them moved and get the rest of the bank building reconfigured for city offices, police department and more library space and the Amery Historical Society,” said Isakson
He said, “Moving forward this is going to be a nice addition to the city of Amery. All of our services will be in one building downtown. People driving through town will actually know where City Hall is for a change. We have a building here (current City Hall) that can be repurposed maybe. The city council has decided this is the best thing for Amery.”
With that, Alderman Tim Strohbusch made a motion to approve the purchase agreement with Bremer Bank for $350,000. It was seconded by Alderperson Chad Leonard and approved unanimously.
Next, Alderman Rick Van Blaricom made a motion to proceed with the sale agreement of our share of the condo to Amery Hospital. It was seconded by Leonard and approved unanimously.
A final motion was made by Strohbusch and seconded by Leonard to move forward with the RFP (Request For Proposal) on the current Bremer Building. It passed unanimously.
In a media statement Mayor Isakson said, “The City of Amery has decided to sell the West Campus building space it owns-18,000 square feet-to Amery Hospital and Clinic. Closing date is tentatively scheduled for July, 31, 2020. The West Campus building currently houses the City’s police department and public library. Both of these services will be relocated. More details will be shared at a later date. Community members can contact Amery City Hall at 715-268-7486 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.”
In an interview with the Free Press Thursday morning, the mayor explained RFPs, documents that solicit proposal, made through a bidding process, are being sent out for the remodeling of the downstairs of the current Bremer building so engineering and design can move the library relocation forward.
Bremer is set to vacate the current premises December 31 of this year. The library and Bremer will share space for a short while until Bremer’s new building is complete.
He said there are still quite a few things up in the air, such as where the police station will temporarily move and what will happen with the current City Hall.
“The next couple of years are going to be busy, but exciting times for the city,” he said.
In December 1950 the current City Hall location on Center Street was opened. A dedication of the building included residents D.K. Lien; Mayor, Lloyd Christensen; City Clerk, Frank Slyvester and Councilmen C.V. Anderson, Herb Jones, Bob Iverson and Dave Palmer.
The city’s ties to the current library and police spaces began on June 4, 2008, when the council approved a conditional use permit between the city and what was known at the time as Amery Regional Medical Center. The amount the city spent in 2019 for the current library and police areas for electric, gas, water/sewer and monthly rents was $56,624.33.
Debra Rudquist, President & CEO of Amery Hospital & Clinic said, “Amery Hospital & Clinic will continue to operate our Wound Healing Center and Behavioral Health Center from the West Campus facility. We have no immediate plans for the additional space being vacated by the City.”
The current Bremer facility located at 104 West Maple Street, opened in April 1966. During July of 1982, ground was broken for a complete remodeling of the bank. This included a 17,000 square foot addition. During this time the bank name changed from Union State Bank to First American Bank of Amery and later to Bremer Bank.
Bremer shared the following statement, “Bremer Bank has been a part of the Amery community for more than 100 years, and we are excited to reinvest in it in such a meaningful way. As the city library, and later city offices, find a new home in our current Amery location, Bremer looks forward to building a new branch designed to best serve the needs of our Amery-area customers. Bremer is thrilled for this opportunity to reinvest in location, talent and leadership in the Amery marketplace.”