Only one lot in the industrial park is undeveloped.
"We're hoping some of these employees will live in town," explained Joe Kalthoff, St. Martin's mayor for the last 14 years. "But we needed more residential space anyway.
The city of St. Martin is building a new residential development on the northwest side of the city to provide new housing opportunities. The city annexed about eight acres of land for the development over the winter.
The installation of water and sewer lines and the building of a road started in May, according to Bob Klemenhagen, who is inspecting the project for St. Martin's engineering firm. The site was cleared of trees, and the black dirt was removed and stockpiled. The water and sewer lines are already in place. They were tied in to the existing city systems. To connect with a sewer lift station, a line had to be bored under Co. Rd. 12.
The excavating contractor was working on the subgrade and the slope of the road last week. They also need to establish the final elevation for the lots.
Klemenhagen said the street will be done, including a bituminous surface, by July 15. By the end of the month, the black dirt should be back on the lots, erosion controls should be in, and the whole development should be seeded with grass.
The development will have 15 lots. The lots are all about 100 feet wide, but are of varying length. Some will be over 200 feet long, while others only slightly more than 100 feet. The lots are approximately a half acre apiece.
A cul de sac street will provide access to the new development from Co. Rd. 12. The new development is on the west side of the county road, across from the industrial park.
In the past, the town of 317 people has been a popular retirement spot for nearby farmers. Kalthoff said that the manufacturing expansions should help the city attract some younger, working couples, and they want to have housing opportunities ready for them.
"You just don't annex and expand over-night," he explained. "It takes six months to get things in order. Some people don't want to wait that long. If they're ready, they want to build."
The city already has three prospective buyers for the lots.
The city has not had a residential expansion since 1989, when 14 lots were created on Circle Drive.
In the design for the current development, another street is plotted to accommodate more residential development in the future.
The city, which also wants more land in its industrial park, is in the process of annexing additional land, Kalthoff said.
The residential development should cost about $150,000 for the land, street, sewer, and water, according to Kalthoff. He expects the lots to sell for about $15,000, depending on size. Their sale should cover the cost of the development.
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