Isanti awards bid for BMX track indoor facility, other city projects

The Isanti City Council approved several resolutions relating to the building of an indoor BMX facility and other city projects during its June 17 meeting.

During the Isanti City Council meeting June 17, eight of the 11 Isanti Ambassador candidates introduced themselves to the council. Pictured in back, from left, are Isanti Mayor George Wimmer with candidates Jade Lamb, Kiely Fredlund and Mia Scharber. In front are candidates Maddie Simon, Hannah Vandersteen, Jerusalem Solomon, Ellen Troolin and Jenny Skalicky. Not pictured are candidates Roman Schmaltz, Emily Baker and Alice Dimassis. Photo by Rachel Kytonen

During the Isanti City Council meeting June 17, eight of the 11 Isanti Ambassador candidates introduced themselves to the council. Pictured in back, from left, are Isanti Mayor George Wimmer with candidates Jade Lamb, Kiely Fredlund and Mia Scharber. In front are candidates Maddie Simon, Hannah Vandersteen, Jerusalem Solomon, Ellen Troolin and Jenny Skalicky. Not pictured are candidates Roman Schmaltz, Emily Baker and Alice Dimassis.
Photo by Rachel Kytonen

During the meeting, the council approved:

  • Lease agreement and operating policy between the city of Isanti and Rum River BMX Association for the BMX track and indoor facility to be located within the northeast corner of Bluebird Park and authorization to proceed with tax abatement bond financing.
  • Resolution awarding the building of the Isanti BMX building to Steel Structures for $2.23 million. The 73,000-square-foot structure will be built over the current BMX track operated by Rum River BMX.
  • Resolution awarding the bid to Douglas-Kerr Underground for $685,393 for Bluebird Park and Public Works site improvements. The Isanti Parkway Lift Station is included in this bid.
  • Resolution approving plans and authorizing to advertise for bids for Unity Lift Station improvements. The engineer’s estimate for the project is $650,000. Bids are expected to be awarded at the July 15 council meeting with construction beginning in early August.

Isanti Mayor George Wimmer explained the BMX building will be able to have its doors open during warmer weather and closed during cooler months. The project will hook up to the city sewer, water and storm water system. The project will consist of constructing an approximate 110-stall parking lot directly east of the proposed facility in Bluebird Park. The total principal cost for the Bluebird Park parking lot and associated sewer, water and storm improvements is $314,914.

Rum River BMX will occupy the building for the term of the proposed 40-year lease.

Included in the building will be two sets of bathrooms and a concession area. These bathrooms will be available for users of Bluebird park, other area amenities and the indoor BMX facility. The north bathrooms will be maintained by the association, and all sewer and water usage costs will be the responsibility of the association. The south bathrooms will be maintained by the city, with sewer and water usage costs the responsibility of the association.

Construction of the projects is expected to commence in September and occupancy by the association is anticipated by Feb. 1, 2015.

Wimmer explained financing for all the projects will utilize tax abatement bonds and general utility bonds. The term of the proposed tax abatement bonds will be for 15 years. Total debt service for the tax abatement bonds, including associated interest with a $2.63 million issue amount is $3.32 million. The principal amount for the building is $2.33 million and the Bluebird Park parking lot site improvements is $230,244. All city utility infrastructure for sewer, water and storm is not included in this number for tax abatement bond financing. This method of financing doesn’t require a referendum vote by residents and a decision to utilize this financing method can be done with a public hearing and a council vote. The remainder of the financing for infrastructure will be financed through city utility funds.

The lease agreement between the city and the BMX association commences Feb. 1, 2015. Generally speaking, the lease payments commence in July 2015 for $6,000 per month with a 2.5 percent inflator each year.

Wimmer said part of this overall project will include dollars set aside for capital improvements.

Wimmer explained the city will be responsible for maintaining the structure and the outside of the property. The association will be responsible for maintaining everything inside the structure.

In the event the project fails, Wimmer said the city has looked at alternative uses for the property to make sure taxpayers are protected and noted a sprinkler system is part of the building project.

Wimmer noted the project is similar to the same model used when the indoor hockey arena was built, and if the project fails, the city would be responsible.

“These are all worst case scenarios in the project not succeeding, but we do have backup plans in place,” Wimmer said. “We are fully confident the BMX Association will continue to thrive as it has done for many years now. … There isn’t any taxpayer dollars associated with this project.”

Wimmer announced the project received a $5,000 grant through the Initiative Foundation, and other grants will be sought.

He noted USA BMX has also provided the city with a letter indicating it will not sanction any new indoor facilities within a 100-mile radius of the city for at least 10 years.

Wimmer is confident the project will be successful and lead to future success.

“I think the facility will help us leverage more development in many ways, and hopefully this will help us land a hotel in the community,” Wimmer said. “This project will help bring in over 2,000 people each week to our community during the winter months. This is really a gateway project for us. This will be a great facility that will be paid for through the hard work of others.”


In other action the council:

  • Agreed to put mosquito control into the budgeting process for 2015.
  • Approved a site plan from Jeff Benney for a new parking lot to be located on the property at 444 East Dual Blvd. NE.
  • Approved a request from Ron Stawski from Wintergreens for a conditional use permit to allow for the construction of an 8-foot fence to screen equipment on the property located at 306 Credit Union Drive NE.
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