SPEARFISH, S.D. — A city in the western part of South Dakota is finalizing the nearly $3 million purchase of a former sawmill.

The Spearfish City Council approved a real estate purchase agreement Aug. 23 between the city and Northwestern Engineering Company, the seller of the former McLaughlin sawmill. The agreement was drawn up in March for the 80 acres of property, but due diligence was extended in order to conduct inspections and environmental assessments, the Black Hills Pioneer reported .

“The short version is, (we) did not see anything that we didn’t expect to see; keeping in mind that that (property) was an operating sawmill for many, many years, there are some minor environmental conditions on the property, but DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) has evaluated … and we don’t see any issues, so we are prepared to close that purchase,” said City Attorney Eric Davis.

As part of the agreement, Northwestern Engineering is responsible for removing open containers and disposing the hydraulic fluid to meet compliance standards; removing the estimated 900 gallons of used oil from above-ground storage tanks; removing all used tires from the site; removing propane tanks; and removing an old trailer and dispose of all contents.

Council President Dan Hodgs said he’s looking forward to the property’s potential.

“This is something we’ve been working on since I came on City Council, and that was finding a piece of land that we can relieve some of the stress on our ball fields and on our parks and all sorts of processes inside of that,” Hodgs said. “I’m excited to see it actually come to fruition. … One of my key components is quality of life in Spearfish, so with that, I would say this is one step in the process of getting what I’ve desired since I’ve started.”

The closing date was set to occur on or before Dec. 29.

Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, http://www.bhpioneer.com