Carleton Hosts Fundraiser for Las Delicias

P1010031.JPGA standing-room-only crowd of approximately 300 people attended a fundraiser for the Barrientos family (owners of Northfield businesses, Las Delicias and El Buen Gusto). The event, held at Carleton College, featured a pot-luck dinner of Latin-American cuisine and live acoustic music. The suggested donation of $10 for students and $20 for community members will go directly to the Barrientos family to pay debts incured after the closing of El Buen Gusto, due to MNDoT's Highway 3 expansion project.

P1010024.JPGThe family has faced a loss of income, mounting medical and legal expenses, the repossession of an automobile, and a pending foreclosure of their home while attempting to meet with MNDoT officials regarding the relocation process of their business. Attempts to gain information on how to access relocation funds from MNDoT, as well as access to personal property moved by MNDoT and stored in Cannon Falls have broken down over the last four months due to what the family and organizers state as "language and cultural barriers".

More photos of the event are in the Gallery.Student organizers stated that they hope to have a meeting arranged with MNDoT in the coming weeks, and also continued to appeal to the community for additional legal expertise. They hope that the money raised will help the family to begin to get on a better financial footing as they go forward in their dealings with MNDoT.

Griff Wigley posted previously:

There has been quite a bit of discussion in the community in the past couple of weeks about the family's situation, including El Buen Gusto, their grocery store that's been torn down for Highway 3 construction. See Scott Schumacher's blog post, Victor Summa's initial post to the ISSUES discussion list (and dozens of follow-up comments from others), and the Wed. April 20 Northfield News for more info.

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Hi, I've been thinking about the situation, and I think a commercial real estate broker could be of great use in this MnDot/Barrientos situation. A name that comes up is Tom Heiberg at Landsakes, I think it is called. Anyway, my thoughts are that a commercial real estate broker could go through the documentation and determine what is really the issue. Were the contents of the store ever seen as abandoned items, for example? I don't know the family well enough to go down there and talk about the broker idea, but I'd be willing to call Tom, and I'd be willing to go with someone who has had close contact with the Barrientos situation. Who is that?