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Blue Earth City Council OKs assessments

BLUE EARTH — The Blue Earth City Council had three major items on its agenda Monday, including two public hearings.

One hearing involved the final assessment list for the West Industrial Park street improvement project. City engineer Wes Brown presented information on the project. It was a mill and overlay street reconstruction that was a joint county-city endeavor.

“The county was doing the streets in the main industrial park area,” Brown said. “The city decided to add more paving to two of the streets, to the north of the park all the way to the railroad tracks.”

Overall cost was $420,685, Brown reported. Of that amount, the county is assessing $125,459 to property owners, while the city is assessing $64,900.

City Council members voted to certify the amounts of the assessments to landowners at the end of the public hearing.

There were no members of the public in attendance at the hearing. Likewise, there were none at the second one. It had to do with creating a tax-increment financing district in the Golden Spike Business Park. The district would cover much of the business park, as well areas of possible future expansion.

However, the current project area is the single lot that was purchased by Thriving Acres Seeds and would help with the construction of its building.

The procedure was explained by Mikaela Huot of Bakertilly Municipal Advisors, formally Springsted.

Basically, the city captures future tax revenue to finance current projects.

The council passed three separate resolutions covering the creation of the TIF district, with the last resolution being a development agreement between the city and Thriving Acres Seeds.

The third item on the agenda involved authorizing the sale of nearly $2 million in general obligation bonds, which will cover the costs of a recent city improvement project.

The bond sale, which happened earlier Monday, had three bidders for the purchase of the bonds. The amount was originally $2,055,000, but was reduced to $1,190,000, due to receiving a premium bid. The rate of interest on the bond sale was 2.2 percent.

Doug Green of Bakertilly (formerly Springsted) was at the meeting to discuss the bond sale. Green and Huot also went over how either a bond sale, or a TIF district, could help with financing any city investment in construction in the new housing development area.

The city is considering partnering with a Mankato construction company to start developing multi-family housing in the area.

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