Thursday, 05 August 2010 06:24

Sutter Creek Ends Knight Foundry Property Negotiations

slide2-sutter_creek_ends_knight_foundry_property_negotiations.pngAmador County - The Sutter Creek City Council has announced an end to the ongoing negotiations for property acquisition of the historic Knight Foundry in Sutter Creek. Irreconcilable differences during negotiations with the property owner and the City have caused the City Council to halt any potential purchase at this time. “Several untenable demands made by the property owner and a difficult economy have created a situation where the City Council cannot continue with the purchase of the Foundry,” Sutter Creek Mayor Pro Tempore Tim Murphy said. “While it saddens me that the purchase of the Foundry cannot happen at this time, the City Council felt the City had no choice in this matter. The structure of the purchase simply put the City at too great a risk.” The City had been negotiating with the Foundry’s property owner for more than eight years and recently was awarded several state and federal grants that were to be used for the purchase of the Foundry. The California Cultural Historical Endowment (CCHE) granted the City $870,000 in May 2008 for a partial purchase of the Foundry. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) also granted the City $600,000 in environmental clean-up grants to clean the site. The City successfully negotiated a quit-claim deed to take ownership of the property last year and has been in ongoing negotiations over the terms of the purchase since that time. The City Council felt it could not place the City in a potentially risky situation regarding indemnification for ongoing environmental contamination. The Council also felt it could not create the financial obligation that the property owner was seeking given this economic climate. “Although the City cannot consummate the purchase of the Foundry at this time, the City looks forward to continuing to work with the property owner to preserve this important piece of Sutter Creek’s history,” City Manager Sean Rabé said. “The format of that preservation is still undetermined.” The Knight Foundry is a historic, water-powered, cast iron foundry and machine shop that was established by Samuel Knight in 1872 in Sutter Creek. In uninterrupted operation until it last poured iron in 1996, it is the last American workplace where traditional cast iron foundry production processes and skills have been handed down almost unchanged. Please contact City Manager Sean Rabé with any questions at 209-267-5647. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.