Council weighs private development for city properties

(ABC 6 News) – Monday evening, the Albert Lea city council looked at private development as a way of addressing the community’s housing shortage as well as a resolution to replace the skate park.

A private marina would replace the restrooms at the city beach and move the skate park to a different location.

The goal is to provide more docking space and even maybe a restaurant at the city beach.

"I’m interested to see what kind of proposals we do get and if they will work and they may or they may not, at this site or you know perhaps down the line at a different site. But I think looking into it is a good idea, and certainly an amenity that I think would be great for the community," said Third Ward councilor Jason Howland.

The council also approved a resolution to fix up four ruined properties the city acquired through unpaid taxes. The goal is to create more affordable housing in Albert Lea.

"What we’re looking at trying to do is stabilize these houses in a minimal fashion. We’re not going to rehab them completely and get them back to their private market so that they can rehab them and turn around and move them on to people to keep that level of housing healthy in our community. It’s important to piece to every community and were just looking at some ideas," said MayorVern Rasmussen, Jr.

Two studies in 2021 found that Albert Lea faces a critical housing shortage of all types, from apartments to single-family homes for all ranges of income.