Monday evening Dave Miller from VanVactor Farms continued the ongoing discussion he’s had with the city on the land sale agreement in the TechFarm. Using a PowerPoint presentation at the Plymouth Board of Public Works and Safety meeting, Miller time-lined the whole process which began in 2004 when VanVactor Farms offered to donate 20 acres of land to the city for a technology park. In 2005 the T-Squared Initiative started and between 2004 and 2006 the project began to creep along and grew from a 20 acre donation to a 40 acre donation. VanVactor Farms was not willing to donate that much land and they offered to enter into a land sale split agreement.
In 2006 the City of Plymouth applied for a US EDA grant and the initial land sale split document was prepared which included the language requiring a committee to oversee the spending of proceeds in and around the TechFarm. In 2008 the city was awarded the EDA grant which would pay for sewer, water, street extension, curb and gutters along with sidewalks. The project was bid in 2010 and came in $700,000 over budget. The Redevelopment Commission agreed to fund the additional funds necessary for the project but didn’t have the needed money so they borrowed the funds from the Community Development Block grant. The Redevelopment Commission required the land sale split agreement be re-written to make the city the recipient of the split funds without any language that the funds should be used in the TechFarm.
In 2016 the first lots in the TechFarm were sold to CTE and that’s when VanVactor Farms realized a revised the land sale agreement from 2010 no longer included the verbiage requirement of using the funds for infrastructure improvements in or adjacent to the TechFarm or as a price reduction incentive to lot buyers.
In 2017 the Plymouth Board of Public Works and Safety took their share of the proceeds from the sale of lots to CTE, $111,000 and used the funds to assist with the cost of the new pedestrian bridge from River Park Square to the new apartment complex.
Monday evening Miller asked the Board of Public Works and Safety to consider amending the land sale split agreement to reflect its original intent and use the proceeds in the TechFarm. He also asked to create a committee to decide on use of the land sale proceeds.
City Attorney Sean Surrisi told the Board of Public Works and Safety that Miller’s presentation was not set for any action at last night’s meeting.