City council hopes to take vote on closing the operation by the end of November 2012.
The city of Minneapolis is in discussion about when it should close the Upper Harbor Terminal in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis City Council is attempting to determine the financial impact of closing the 40-acre barge facility by 2013. The city had earlier considered closing the Upper Harbor Terminal by the end of 2014. While the city owns the property, the operator of the terminal and warehouses is River Services Inc., a subsidiary of Ohio-based River Trading Co.
Barb Johnson, a council member whose district includes the Upper Harbor, says the harbor has been seeing a steady decline in business at the barge location. She adds that much of the cargo that earlier was barged is now being trucked to its destination. At the same time, she says the city could repurpose the land to a more valuable use, including a mix of parks, retail and light industry.
The city opened the Upper Harbor Terminal in 1968. According to Finance & Commerce, the city has would go from a break-even situation to facing $1.3 million in security and management costs if it were to break its contract and close the site to barge traffic beginning in April 2013.
The one-year costs could be offset by $275,000 in lease revenue from companies that use the site for storage, but those contracts are not expected to be renewed after expiring in 2014, according to a report discussed at an Oct. 23 Community Development Committee.
The terminal receives an estimated 60,000 tons of fertilizer and 140,000 tons of coal annually and is also used to store agricultural twine, 50,000-pound steel coils and large construction equipment.