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City purchases Pioneer Oil property

Posted: Friday, Jan 4th, 2013

City news

EVANSTON — The Evanston City Council convened a special session on the last day of 2012 to approve the purchase of a tract of land in the city that includes a pair of rail spurs. With the approval, the city will put $50,000 in earnest money down toward the property, which has been valuated at $1.75 million, according to Mayor Joy Bell.

“The goal of the city of Evanston for some time is that we felt like we needed to buy a rail spur,” Bell told the council. “This piece of property has two rail spurs on it — one we will be purchasing, and one we have the ability to lease from Union Pacific.”

The city now has six months to close on the property, during which time they hope to receive a $1,480,919 grant from the Wyoming Business Council and the State Loan and Investment Board that will pay for it. The contract includes a number of escape clauses, which will allow the city to terminate the agreement within 60 days if they do not receive the grant, or if Union Pacific declines to reassign the existing Industry Track Agreement to the city from the seller, Montana-based Pioneer Oil, LLC. If the contract is so terminated, however, the city will forfeit its $50,000 earnest money.

Bell said the city will still need to negotiate a contract with Union Pacific for use of the rails once the property has been acquired.

“When you consider that 75 to 80 percent of the [business] leads that come in here want rail access,” Bell noted, “it certainly has been a challenge for us to accommodate that, or to have any hope.”

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