ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — First reported by KTTC in June, the Rochester Public Utilities board is moving toward purchasing a plot of land to build a new substation.
RPU board members gathered Tuesday, voting on the $150,000 purchase amount for about half of the piece of
land they’re moving to acquire, which passed unanimously.
Meaning the land at 1325 Marion Road Southeast, just north of Longfellow Elementary, is the site the board has selected for a new substation.
Following the board vote, acquisition approval now falls to the Rochester City Council, which will either approve or deny the purchase at their November 4th meeting.
But that doesn’t complete the puzzle, rather it’s only a piece of it. The board still has work to do to obtain the other half of the land it needs.
“This substation is absolutely needed to support the future growth that we anticipate to see both in the downtown corridor area and in the outer outskirts of the city that grow with the DMC project. So it’s a vital substation to
maintain reliability and redundant service to customers,” explained Rochester Public Utilities General Manager, Mark Kotschevar.
He says if there’s no purchase agreement for the last parcel of land, the last resort would something called a “use of condemnation,” which is an eminent domain process that already has board and council approval.
Once the land is acquired, building the substation and underground lines is expected to cost about $27 million, but the Mayo Clinic will be footing about half that bill so it can reserve a portion of the substation’s power for its campus. RPU hopes to have the substation up and running by 2022.