SAUK RAPIDS -- Sauk Rapids-Rice Schools are one step closer to owning the athletic fields that have sat next to their high school for almost 20 years.

The district will be able to buy the land for $1. When the land for the new high school was bought the city also bought land for future ball fields and a city park. That land became Mayhew Creek Park and the athletic complex next to it, that hosts many Sauk Rapids-Rice sports.

Since the district was the buyer, in this case, they had to start the process. Interim Superintendent Bruce Watkins says the board took that step Monday night. He says even though it's been a good working relationship over the years, it was time the district owned that land.

"It's been a good working relationship for the past years. But they were prepared, willing to sell us the property for a dollar. So we wanted to do a purchase agreement and move forward with that."

Watkins adds the city wasn't using it like they had originally intended to years ago.

"I don't think that the city, under any joint-use, has made much use of it. And we're really pleased we've had access to it, and would like to add it to our parcel of land."

In the past, the district has had to bring any changes they've wanted to make before the city for approval. When the district owns the land, they can act at will.

The city will keep the water tower and Mayhew Creek Park.

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