Fillmore County Sheriff Jim Connolly offered his resignation to the board to be effective April 29, 2005. Chairman Amunrud thanked him for his long service of 32 years, 16 of which he served as sheriff. Sheriff Connolly thanked his staff for their support during his years in office. Connolly’s term is set to expire in January of 2007. Connolly recommended to the commissioners that his chief deputy Daryl Jensen be appointed to complete his term. The board accepted Connolly’s resignation and appointed Daryl Jensen to be county sheriff effective April 29, 2005.
Tax Abatement for Harmony Development
Mike Bubany of David Drown and Associates contributed more information about the proposed tax abatement for the city of Harmony for the Lutes-Scrabeck First Addition Project. Bubany noted that he was aware that the county commissioners would be more comfortable giving their final approval for the project after the city of Harmony gives their final approval. Mr. Bubany made clear that with the property tax abatement plan neither the city nor the county can be left ‘on the hook’ if the project fails. In the past Harmony has provided a cash subsidy worth 50% of the cost of public improvements to encourage development. This practice has been found to be too burdensome to taxpayers especially ‘if the subdivision was slow to develop new tax base.’ Perhaps one negative for the city is that it gives up some of its power with the tax abatement plan. With this cooperative tax abatement between Harmony and Fillmore County, there is a requirement of county approval. The county board will also have veto power over future TIFs for Harmony housing development. Fillmore County first made it their policy to offer tax abatements for housing projects in July 2002.
A public hearing was scheduled during the board meeting on this issue, but no citizens appeared and none had given any written comment.
Bubany emphasized that with the tax abatement the risk was totally on the developer. It is expected that the developer will invest $300,000 to develop 14 lots for single family homes. The lots will be sold for $21,000 per lot. The developer will get tax abatements that will not exceed $150,000 total. The 14 homes are expected to have an average taxable market value of $140,000 each. The abatements will accumulate for the developer only after each housing unit is built. If the development fails to meet pr .....[Read the Rest]