At the September 12 county board meeting, a resolution was adopted approving the property tax abatement related to Lamon Housing Project (developers Richard and Cheryl Lamon) in the city of Lanesboro.
A public hearing was held during which there was no comment from the public. Mike Bubany, David Drown Associates, Inc., presented the basics of the plan. This project has a specific start date. It has a pay as you go format, up to 15 years.
The developer will extend and construct any public improvements. The city agrees to abate 100% of city taxes generated in the abatement area. The developer may be reimbursed up to $543,000 of public improvement expenses plus 4% simple interest.
The county agrees to abate 75% of county taxes generated in the abatement area. County abatements to be sent to the city are capped at $154,000 over 15 years. There is no financial risk to the county.
The plan is to subdivide the abatement property into 10 single-family residential properties.
Nick Banks, Trust for Public Land, and Joseph Brown, DNR, sought approval for a land acquisition in Rushford Village. Peterson Trust now owns the 263 acres. The 2023 property tax on the property was $6,732. The estimated Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) for 2023 is $8,816. PILT payments are made to local governments to offset losses in property taxes due to the existence of nontaxable lands within their boundaries.
Brown noted the city of Rushford Village was not concerned with zoning but was concerned about lost revenue. A city cannot receive PILT payments, so the city will lose the property tax revenue for this property.
The land is primarily forested; the Crescent Valley snowmobile trail goes through the property. The land will be available for use by hunters, hikers, and wildlife observers and is adjacent to state forest lands. There are steep bluffs and a grassland area on top which is currently in the conservation reserve program (CRP). Commissioner Randy Dahl said this is rough land, adding he did not object to the acquisition, but insisted it needed to be maintained (control of weeds and invasives). The resolution was adopted for the land acquisition. The land will be designated as state forest lands.
Other Business in Brief
•Two qualified applicants were interviewed for the position of Land Use Director. The job will be offered to Blake Lea.
•County Administrator Bobbie Hillery detailed changes in the latest draft for the 2024 Fillmore County budget/levy. The latest adjustments have the levy increase at just under 6%. Health insurance adjustments will be discussed at the next board meeting. A little over 2% of the increase will be due to an increase in a bonding levy for the jail. The board will have to set the preliminary levy at their September 26 meeting.
•A resolution of support to seek state bonding for the rehabilitation of the Forestville Bridge was adopted. The county, Minnesota DNR, and Historical Society have been working together to preserve the historical structure.
•The board accepted the 2022 Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) in the amount of $25,116 from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Sheriff John DeGeorge said the annual grant is the main revenue for emergency management.
•Deb Peterson was hired as a temporary eligibility worker, effective September 13. She will work part-time to fill in for an employee on medical leave. Peterson retired in February from this position, so no training is needed.
•Jonathon Whitney was promoted from dispatcher to Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Manager, effective October 7.
•The final payment in the amount of $717.20 to Orval Sorum & Sons for the 2023 Rock Contract was approved. The total value of work was $14,344.25.
•The final payment in the amount of $15,316.95 to Doyle Conner Co. was approved. The total value of the concrete paving project (CSAH 8) completed in the city of Lanesboro was $306,339.04.
•The final payment in the amount of $13,558.15 to Minnowa Construction, Inc. for a bridge replacement project completed in Norway Township was approved. The total value of the completed project was $271,163.00.
•The county board meets next on September 26.