Updated: 04/16/2014 11:59 PM
Created: 04/16/2014 10:53 PM KAALtv.com
By: John Doetkott
(ABC 6 News) -- For months, Kasson city leaders have been pushing for a new Shopko development in what is currently a city park, and for months citizens have been pushing back.
But now the long-standing controversy is nearing its end.
At a special meeting Wednesday night, the Kasson City Council approved, in principal, the purchase and development agreement with Oppidan Inc., the developer for the project.
The meeting saw a much smaller crowd than at past meetings, with only a handful of residents in attendance.
City leaders have continually supported the project despite the public outcry, and they said they're excited about the potential economic boost to Kasson.
“What it'll do is it'll keep money in Kasson,” said Mayor Matt Nelson. “People are going to spend their money now at Shopko and then probably at our other local businesses, rather than taking that money to Rochester or a neighboring community.”
The city council couldn't officially approve the agreements on Wednesday because a power outage actually prevented the contracts from being finalized.
The vote will go before the council again next week, which in all likelihood will be the final action that board will take before construction begins.
Multiples homes still have to be purchased to make room for the project, but developers have said they’d like to break ground by the end of May.