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Monson property planning proceeds

With the purchase of the 150-acre Monson property completed, the Sunnyside City Council agreed on Monday night to pursue funding for a master plan study of the land, just west of the city limits.

The site was formerly a feed lot, which the city purchased for $2.5 million, in part to reduce the smell of cattle waste.

"First we eliminated a problem and next we install something positive in its place," said City Manager Bob Stockwell.

That something positive is hope for what the city calls the West Sunnyside Business Park project.

Before selling the land for commercial ventures, though, the city will seek a $25,000 grant from the Supporting Investments in Economic Development Board (SIED) to pay for the master plan and preliminary engineering study.

Stockwell said the study will look at laying out utilities to the property once it is annexed to the city, which could happen as early as next spring.

Beyond that, the plan will evaluate how best to divvy up the land, whether it would be more attractive to have smaller business lots or some up to 20 acres in size.

Stockwell said it would likely be sometime in July when the city hears whether it will receive the SIED grant. If funding is approved, the city could receive the results of the study as early as this November.

Stockwell earlier noted that he has heard from some individuals expressing interest in the property, which lies near Exit 63 off of I-82. He said any purchase price would include running water and sewer to the site.

Possible uses for the site, or portions of it, could include a mix of commercial and light industrial businesses.

"We're very interested in any proposal that fits into that part of the community and generates good jobs," Stockwell has said.

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