The Osakis City Council made a ruling on what to do with the historical theater lot in downtown Osakis at its monthly meeting last Monday.
Sam Wolbeck is looking for more parking spaces that would allow him to have apartments in his building’s upper level. However, the city couldn’t sell him the lot because it is tax-forfeited property that is designated for the city to use for a public purpose. The lot is under the control of the city council but they do not have the ability to rent or sell it to another buyer because the space is owned by the county.
The theater lot will be conveyed back to Douglas County and will be auctioned off. The possibility of splitting the lot was not well received by the county because it would leave the rest of the lot not occupied by Wolbeck with a low value.
Wolbeck commented that he was fine with the garden staying at its current spot on the lot. He is only looking to use the back part of the property for the parking area.
The garden is a memorial to Carol Mihalchick, who was the moving force behind the clean-up and planting of the empty lot next to A.J.'s Cafe when the vacant Empress Theater was demolished.
Last Monday’s city council meeting was just over 30 minutes long. No other major topics of discussion took place.