Stillwater school district questioned over problems with $7M bus garage project

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The Stillwater School District has spent $7 million since 2018 to upgrade a parcel of land for a new bus parking and maintenance facility, but now it could be shut down.

The 11-acre property is on Hudson Boulevard in Lake Elmo, and the Lake Elmo City Council voted unanimously to revoke the property's conditional use permit because required water and sewer lines have not been connected to the facility.

One unidentified taxpayer told the Stillwater School Board the property purchase was not well thought out and taxpayers are now on the hook for something they might not be able to use.

"This is a debacle, and it is clear the district did not do its due diligence with the contract with the seller," the Stillwater district taxpayer said. "If there are no contingencies with the contract then we face more legal fees for a bus garage we might not be able to use."

The Stillwater School Board said it has hired a law firm and declined to comment on the issue because there could be legal avenues taken to resolve the issue.

The Lake Elmo Planning Commission must now hold a public hearing before the revocation of the conditional use permit becomes official. That hearing is set for next Monday.