Heavy floods may delay construction of Elk Run BioBusiness Park

Is it my imagination or does the Elk Run development project in Pine Island, Minnesota seem a little … what’s the word I’m looking for? … oh, yeah … cursed?

Don’t believe me? Well, let’s examine events from the past 12 months or so.

Last October, federal agriculture officials had sharpshooters kill the 560 elk that lived on the property after discovering three of the elk contracted chronic wasting disease.

A poor economy has repeatedly delayed construction on the Elk Run BioBusiness Park, backed by San Francisco-based investor Steve Burrill.

And now this: Heavy rains and floods wreaked havoc on Pine Island and surrounding communities last week.

Pine Island Mayor Paul Perry estimates that 150 homes in the city have suffered flood damage, according to the Post-Bulletin in Rochester. The city’s waste water treatment plant was shut down because of the flooding, prompting city officials to ask residents on Friday to limit their use of water for laundry and showering.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has already declared a state of emergency in the area and will seek federal aid.

Tower Investments, the real estate firm developing Elk Run, had hoped to break ground on the project in October. But given the damage to Pine Island’s infrastructure, that looks increasingly unlikely.

Chronic wasting disease? Massive floods?

What’s next? An earthquake?

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