Citizen group sues St. Cloud over land sale to Costco

A citizen group is suing St. Cloud for selling city park land to Costco for what it contends is less than fair market value.

Costco Wholesale in late July purchased about 19 acres of Heritage Park for $3.5 million. The St. Cloud Times reports Citizens for Government Accountability filed a civil complaint Thursday in state court claiming the sale violates Minnesota law.

Spokesman Jon Austin says the group believes the sale amounts to an illegal business subsidy because the land is worth as much as $9.1 million.

Mayor Dave Kleis says attorneys for the city and Costco are reviewing the complaint. But he also says the lawsuit won't delay Costco's construction of a warehouse, liquor store and gas station or the city's reconstruction of roads near the development.

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