Request for TIF district on council agenda

NEW ULM – The New Ulm City Council will meet at 5 p.m. today in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

The Council will consider authorizing a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district for Martin Luther College’s 50-unit apartment building project, which will be targeted at senior housing.

The apartment construction project is scheduled to begin in June, but a letter from the bank to the project indicated it is not financially feasible without financial assistance. Doneff Companies is the specific organization requesting the TIF district.

TIF districts operate by the recipient paying property taxes, then being reimbursed a determined portion of them back from the county. The City would not lose out on any funds in the process. A TIF district also is required to go no longer than 25 years and requires 20 percent of the renters be below 50 percent of the Brown County Median Family Income range.

In other action, the Council will consider approving Brown County’s plan to sell the tax forfeiture land of the Dakotah West Addition and the Minnesota River Valley Subdivision. The projects failed during the economic downturn, and the City covered the cost of unpaid special assessments.

The sale is aimed at recovering the special assessment debts and any other unpaid expanses owed to District 88 and Brown County. Any funds exceeding debts owed will be split among the city, county and school district.

A request by Antonio Ruiz for a Conditional Use Permit to sell, repair and customize firearms as a home occupation at 1704 N. Jefferson St. is on the agenda.

The Council will consider issuing resolutions on support for two bills in the Minnesota Legislature. The first bill is the proposed reform of the LGA funding program, which is aimed at making funding more consistent and simple. The second bill would allow cities to create “street improvement districts.” These districts would allow cities to collect fees ahead of the projects, instead of complex and burdensome special assessments after projects are completed.

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