The former Sartell paper mill site known as the city's Mill District's timeline has been pushed back a bit.  That according to Sartell Mayor Ryan Fitzthum.  He says the city continues to work with their consultants, interest groups, stakeholders and the community.  The original plan was for the site plan to come forward in April and now the plan is for it to be reviewed and voted on by the City Council in June.  Fitzthum says at that time the council will either make some modifications or approve the recommendation of how the city sees that site developing.

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Fitzthum's vision for the site includes restaurants, retail, a brewery and/or distillery and possibly a hotel.  He'd also like to see housing options, a sports facility and walking/biking paths.  Fitzthum wants the site to be a draw year round and would want the location to include some things that could encourage visitors even during the winter months.

It was reported earlier this month on WJON that Benton County has awarded the City of Sartell a $450,000 grant for the Mill District. The money is being allocated to Sartell from the Benton County American Rescue Plan and State and Local Fiscal Recovery (ARPA) funds.

Sartell Pedestrian Bridge, city of Sartell
Sartell Pedestrian Bridge, city of Sartell

Fizthum explains the city has received lots of interest from local, regional and national developers looking into this site.  He says the plan is to extent their trails onto the site which will eventually link to the pedestrian bridge.  Fitzthum doesn't expect these trails to open on the site in 2024 but 2025 is real possibility.  He says development of the site won't like start until 2026 in regards to any building construction.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Ryan Fitzthum, it is available below.



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