Aldi grocery store is coming to Cambridge

The grocery store Aldi could soon be opening in Cambridge.

The Cambridge City Council approved a letter of intent for Aldi Inc. to purchase a 2.2 acre site at the corner of Hwy. 95 and Balsam Street at its regular meeting Monday, July 2.

According to the letter of intent submitted by Welsh Company for Aldi, the new building will be approximately 15,945 square feet with a 618-square foot canopy.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to come into Cambridge. I think it’s long overdue,” said Ryan Stemmons, director of real estate for Aldi’s office in Faribault. “We’re excited that we have a city that’s excited to have Aldi here.”

The purchase price is $795,000 with a $10,000 earnest money check deposited with Commercial Partners Title Company.

Stemmons said the goal is to start construction as soon as possible to open the store, which could be open in early spring.

Signage will be negotiated with Kohl’s and Lowe’s, and the city will provide a marketable title acceptable to the purchaser, including approvals enabling Aldi to obtain building permits, an environmental assessment, any required change of use for the property and subdivision approval.

The feasibility period for the city to provide information to the purchaser is 180 days. Once approved, the purchaser will close within 30 days.

Cambridge will pay necessary pending, levied or deferred taxes, real estate commission of 8 percent to Welsh Company at closing and upon signing the letter of intent agreed to negotiate exclusively with the purchaser for the sale of the property, with an expiration date of Oct. 1, 2012.

“It’s a win for the city and it’s a win for Aldi,” Council Member Bob Shogren said.

Keyless entry system approved

The Cambridge City Council accepted the proposal from All State Communications to install a keyless entry system for City Hall, the Fire Department, Police Department and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for $37,518.

The keyless entry system is intended to secure all exterior entry doors and interior access to the EOC.

A benefit of the system is that if an employee leaves or a firefighter retires, the city can deactivate their card and not worry about keys being turned in, said City Administrator Lynda Woulfe.

Two exterior doors will be rekeyed—the west entrance into the Fire Hall and the Police Department staff entrance door. There is video surveillance for these two entry points, and keys for these doors will only be issued to the six Fire Department officers and police officers.

The doors will remain keyed in case of a power outage, enabling access to the building. All remaining exterior doors will have their key locks removed to eliminate access.

If a City Hall employee needs to access the building after hours and the electricity is out, they’ll need to contact the Police Department to have an officer meet them at City Hall to allow them access.

The keyless entry system will be active on 20 doors–18 single doors and 2 sets of double doors. The system will use a card entry system with the ability to issue and program user access via a central on-site system, which will report access use. The system will also be able to assign different levels of access by employee.

The $37,518 bid by All State Communications does not include the re-keying of the two exterior doors. The city will use local locksmith Mike Granlund to rekey those doors at an estimated cost of less than $1,000.

The City Council had adopted a budget amendment setting aside $25,000 for this project, and the city has identified funds to cover the remaining $12,518.

Several Council Members expressed concerns regarding the high cost of the project, but Woulfe said the cost savings in the long-term from no longer having to rekey entries would outweigh the initial cost.

In other action, the council:

• Approved the combined Cambridge Police Department-Cambridge Fire Department National Night Out event to be held at City Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 7.

• Approved a lease with the state of Minnesota for the Armed Forces Reserve and Community Center, and amended the agreement with Anoka-Ramsey Community College for space use at the AFRCC.

• Accepted the bid for the South Cleveland Street storm sewer relocation to R.L. Larson Excavating for $335,890.