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Cottage Grove municipal pool site may be sold, developed

The city council is discussing options for future use of the former city pool building and site. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
The pool was removed from the lot after it was closed in 2011. RiverTown Multimedia file photo 2 / 2

The Cottage Grove City Council is considering what to do with the long-vacant former pool site at 85th Street and Granada Avenue.

The city pool building has stood mostly empty — the city uses it for some storage — since it closed in 2011.

The city had largely considered three options for the site over the past years: sell the site to a developer to demolish and subdivide; keeping the building for storage; and converting it into a public space.

Keeping the building and lot — essentially the "do nothing" option — will mean the city will have to continue managing the property with maintenance, lawn mowing and any repairs it may need. Parks Director Zac Dockter said it costs around $1,500 per year.

Mayor Myron Bailey said he is most inclined to subdivide and sell the site to a developer. A developer will likely demolish the building and build up to three homes on the lot.

There are some concerns with the building, Bailey said, including the asbestos in the aged building that would have to be safely handled if torn down.

Bailey said the site could be an opportunity to add more affordable housing to the city, in the form of Habitat for Humanity homes.

"Everything we've done in Cottage Grove (with Habitat) has really turned out nice," he said.

The city council had previously considered converting the pool building into an indoor playground or a community meeting space. Now that a new Park Grove Library building is being considered, Bailey said it "negates the need to do something like that," and are leaning away from that direction.

Due to the condition of the building, as well as the issues with the asbestos, it would likely not be feasible to convert the building.

"Repurposing is more expensive than we anticipated in the beginning," Bailey said.

The city council held a closed session after the Sept. 6 meeting to discuss financial appraisals of the building.