Recommendation given to add Pine Avenue to TIF District

The recommendation of the Economic Development Authority, following a joint public hearing with the Little Falls City Council, was to proceed “as soon as possible” with having a current TIF (Tax Increment Financing) District expanded to include property bounded by Highway 371/Haven Road and Pine Avenue.

The action followed a petition for annexation and the accompanying request for municipal sewer and water service from the Bob LeMieur Charter Bus Company.

The recommendation did, however, add that no actual action should be taken on expanding the district until the annexation process is completed.

The original TIF District was established in August, 1998 for the United Mailing Company. As explained in the plan for the expansion, “The city is currently working with several developers and land owners on potential development and redevelopment projects in the area. The development potential of the area is hindered by inadequate access onto Highway 371, and by inadequate sewer and water service. The city’s intent is to utilize tax increments generated within the TIF District to fund a portion of the costs of needed street and utility improvements in the area to promote additional development.”

The current thoughts on expanding the district are to stub water and and sanitary sewer service under Haven Road and the BNSF rail line, at the intersection of Haven Road and the west-bound on-ramp of highway 10 extended. Under current city policy, these stubbing costs would be the city’s.

“None of the tax increment proceeds will be used to aid LeMieur in the renovation/expansion of his bus company,” emphasized City Administrator Rich Carlson. “The proposed TIF funds would only be used to reimburse the city’s costs of installing water and sewer mains.”

The EDA also recommended the establishment of a TIF District for the purpose of aiding an expansion at Crestliner Boats. The company’s plan is to demolish some older warehouses and replace them with a new 40,000 square-foot facility. In addition, because the water volume demands for fire protection are inadequate at the plant, there is a need to upgrade its water system.

The estimated costs of the improvements have been set at $65,000.

The council, after hearing the recommendation, approved the establishment of the TIF District. The next step for the city is to put together a developer’s agreement with the boat building company.

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