Wyoming stamps new tax abatement policy

Alice Pickering
Wyoming Reporter

In an effort to develop positive policies to encourage businesses to locate or expand in Wyoming, the Wyoming City Council and the Economic Development Authority developed a city tax abatement policy and procedures to implement it.

The city council vote to approve the policy on August 21.

One goal is to provide more sustained economic growth in the city and generate jobs with livable wages. Other goals are to create job diversity and expand the economic base.

The city hopes to create parcels that could not be developed without the tax abatement assistance, and redevelop areas to improve the city’s image.

Developed on a pay-as-you go policy; rebates on parcels will be made as long as tax payments are up-to-date. The developer must demonstrate need for the project and need for tax abatement assistance.

Each abatement will be determined case-by-case. An abatement will not be used on a limited project or one which stresses demands on city services. There are some limitations, one of which is no tax abatement on a parcel which is in a tax-increment financing district.

The term of the abatement would be five years or less.

Applicants would need to make separate tax abatement applications with Chisago County and with the appropriate school district.

The city council approved the tax abatement policy by a vote of 5-0.  The policy is in effect.

Road Work

Road construction is underway on US-61 (Forest Blvd) at 250th Street. Besides this cooperative agreement project, improvements are also planned for Fallbrook Avenue.

The council voted to accept the bid from Dresel Contracting, Inc. for the construction portion of the project.  The bid in the amount of $546,647 was the lowest of the nine received. Others ranged to as high as $681,852.

Engineer Jason Messner, representing WSB & Associates, recommended the Dresel bid. In the feasibility study Engineer Mark Erichson estimated the construction cost at just over $650,000.

The project includes improvement to the street surface, installation of a larger sewer and water mains, and improvements to the storm water sewer and ditches.

Some road improvements are also planned for Faxton Ave., which lies north of Viking Blvd. between the RiverBank building and Sunrise Prairie Trail

Erichson’s recommendation presented a breakdown of costs of the various parts of the project and sources of funds. The road surface improvements ($303,798.50) and storm sewer improvements ($78,691) are to be paid for with a combination of MSA funds and assessments.

Money for the sanitary sewer improvements ($45,226.50) will be paid from the sewer fund. The water main improvements ($51,902) are to be made from the water fund.

As part of the overall project, improvements to Faxton Ave. are for curb and gutter on one side of the street. The $67,029 to cover these improvements will come from city funds. Engineering, legal, and financial fees are expected to add an additional 25 percent to the project cost.

The current MSA balance is about $1,100,000. Between $150,000 and $200,000 of this is being used on the US-61-250th project. There is enough in the balance to cover the city’s cost for the storm water and street improvements on Fallbrook. The assessment calculations and hearings will be scheduled in October or November.

The vote to accept bid from Dresel Contracting, Inc. was 5-0.

Other Topics

The council authorized payment to E.H. Renner & Sons for the variable frequency drive for city well 3, in the amount of $8,356.56. In his report, Jason Windingstad, public works supervisor, said the new drive system has more capabilities than the one it replaces.

Also part of the resolution is the authorization to apply for reimbursement of expenses from Xcel Energy for a rebate of up to $6,000. Approval was unanimous.

An unclaimed snowmobile trailer and a wrecked KIA were declared surplus by the council. Police Chief Paul Hoppe made the recommendation. Action authorizes the police department to dispose of the vehicles by on-line auction. The vote was 5-0 for the action.

The Wyoming Lions Club was granted a one-day gambling permit for Saturday, Sept. 15. As part of Stagecoach Days, the Lions are sponsoring a bingo event at Watertower Park. Approval was unanimous.

Steve Zerwas reported no new news about the pump shafts at the lift stations which have broken.

Zerwas reported that the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road and US-8 in Center City was due to re-open on August 22. The next step in road construction is closure of US-8 east of that to TH-95.

Work on TH-95 and CR-30 should be done by Labor Day. The detour in Lindstrom continues until October 2012. Work on US-8 in that city should be completed by November 16, .

Other Business

In other business, the council:

•Authorized Attorney Dave Snyder to negotiate a settlement with S.R. Weidema, the company which built the sewer line from the city to the CLJSC treatment plant.

•Authorized payment of the bills, payroll, and journal entries for August 8-12.

•Approved minutes of the August 7 regular council meeting.

•Learned from the building report, that Polaris has submitted an application for site plan review which will be submitted to the planning commission for review on August 28.

•Learned from Windingstad that the control panel for the 264th St. lift station is being built by Total Control.

•Learned an estimated 600 people participated in National Night-Out.