Wyoming finalizes Polaris incentive, vehicle purchase

Alice Pickering
Wyoming Reporter

At its Jan. 9 meeting, the Wyoming City Council approved the purchase of a Caterpillar 942K loader for the public works department. At last Tuesday’s meeting, attorney Andrew Pratt had the legal documents ready for action.

Council authorized issuance of a general obligation equipment certificate to pay for the loader. According to the text of the resolution, Ziegler Inc. is to purchase the certificate, at an interest rate of 2.95 percent. The total cost of the equipment is $106,135. There will be four annual payments of $28,519, the first to be made one year after delivery of the loader.

The capital purchase has been planned and included in the department’s budget. Council approved issuing the certificate by a 5-0 vote.

Polaris Tax Abatement

By a vote of 3-2, council members adopted a resolution, “ratifying and confirming tax abatement assistance for Polaris Industries, Inc.” for its planned expansion for a term of five years. Linda Yeager and Steve Zerwas voted against the tax abatement, standing by the same reasons as when this was proposed and discussed late in 2012.

The Minnesota JOBZ program benefits for the original Polaris building end in 2015. However, taxes on the improved property which are assessed 2016 will not be levied until 2017.

For the first two years of this expansion, Polaris will be able to take advantage of the remaining two years of the state JOBZ program. The tax abatement is to begin when the JOBZ program ends in 2017 and last until 2022.

In November, Zerwas spoke against granting a full five years of the city’s abatement program to Polaris. Even though the city “may” grant tax abatement for up to five years, in November Zerwas said he was more comfortable with three or four years. Yeager felt the resolution was a repeat of the original motion, just in a different form.

“I saw no reason to change my vote,” she said.

Other Business

The council viewed promotional films used to market cities. The Economic Development Association (EDA) is considering paying for the creation of a video to promote Wyoming. The videos addressed existing businesses, business opportunities, established infrastructure, recreational opportunities, schools, quality of life, etc.

Rather going to an outside company, Yeager raised questions about having a local company produce a similar film. Roger Elmore believes an independent company would be better for the job.  He also believes if the decision is to move forward, the city should cover the $20,000 tab.

Jerry Owens suggested contacting some of the cities to see if they got what they expected and how the productions are being used.

The EDA is to continue its research and bring a recommendation to the council. If pursued, the city would own the production. Administrator Craig Mattson feels the project is a good idea.

The EDA meets Feb. 11.

Yeager reported to the council on a Rush Line Corridor meeting she attended. The number of riders on Bus Route 285 averages 170 riders daily on weekday trips. Unless new funding is found, the bus service currently going to Forest Lake and Columbus will stop  once the Lino Lakes park-and-ride opens in late November.

The council scheduled a work session for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, to discuss dog licenses and fees.