The Crookston City Council met Monday night inside the City Hall Council Chambers. The biggest item discussed was Epitome Energy and approving a revised land option agreement and letter of intent with the company.

The consent agenda included approval of the August 23 meeting minutes and approval of bills and disbursements in the amount of $348,674.52. The Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority agenda for their meeting on September 21 was also approved by the board.

Mayor Dale Stainbrook also made a proclamation declaring the week of September 12-18 National Assisted Living Week in Crookston. Cindy Meyer and Lisa Cole of the Benedictine Living Community accepted a plaque from Mayor Stainbrook in honor of the proclamation.

The regular agenda included approving an amended letter of intent with Epitome Energy. CEO of Epitome Energy Dennis Egan joined the meeting via zoom to discuss and answer any questions council members had. City Administrator Amy Finch discussed the changes more and the reason the letter needed to be amended. “The initial reason for the letter of intent to be drafted and approved was to bridge a gap because the option agreement called for a complete and executed developers’ agreement concurrently with the execution of the land option,” said Finch. “Epitome is not at that stage of their project yet, to be able to enter into a fully executed developers’ agreement. So, the City wanted something a little bit more formal to bridge that gap.”

The biggest concern from council members was the timeline set for the letter of intent of December 31, 2021. At that time, with the previous letter of intent, the letter of intent would be terminated if certain things were not accomplished. The revised option that was before the board would change the date to September of 2022, allowing more time to get a fully drafted developers agreement before the letter of intent terminates. The board passed the motion unanimously.

The second resolution regarding Epitome Energy was a revised land option agreement. Finch explained what the biggest changes to the agreement are. “One of the major changes that needed to be approved in the land option agreement was the boundary adjustment,” said Finch. “We needed to get the boundary and site up to the 60 acres that had always been discussed. So initially, that is why the revised land option needed to be put forward, but also to incorporate the letter of intent with the revised land option agreement now that we’ve seen a change with that as well.”

The board approved the revised land option agreement, with the only change needing approval being the new date of September 2022 on the amended letter of intent.

The council also approved a resolution accepting Park and Recreation donations for Park Benches. Finch explained where the donations came from and what they can use the money for. “Anytime we receive a donation where the donor clarifies what they want the money spent on, we are required to use the funds for that purpose,” said Finch. “In this case, we received money from Robert Herkenhoof, Reginald and Mary Clause, Allan and Judy Dragseth, Kiwanis, and Northwest Minnesota Foundation totaling $2,500. There will be benches that will be replaced, new benches that may be put in, our Park and Rec Director and staff will take a look at it and make those decisions.”

The meeting lasted just 30 minutes as it was a short agenda. The next meeting will take place Monday, September 27, at 7:00 p.m. inside the City Hall Council Chambers.