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City approves tax incentives to Annabelle Commercial and Gooseneck Implement

Property development was the primary subject of discussion and action at the Kenmare City Council meeting Monday evening.

8/17/11 (Wed)

 

By Terry Froseth
 
Property development was the primary subject of discussion and action at the Kenmare City Council meeting Monday evening.
 
At a public hearing just prior to the regular meeting, property tax incentives were approved for Annabelle Commercial B, LLC, and for Nored, Inc., doing business as Gooseneck Implement.
 
The incentives are a means to finance building of water and sewer infrastructure to the locations of Kenmare’s newly annexed additions to the east of U.S. Highway 52.
 
Annabelle proposes to build a convenience store and general office space on the property in the application. They will pay $1500 annually from 2012 to 2026 in lieu of property taxes.
 
Gooseneck Implement proposes to build a new agricultural implement dealership on their property. They will pay $1000 annually from 2012 to 2026.
 
City engineer Ryan Ackerman explained the incentives include a payment that is set artificially low to be paid in lieu of property taxes. Annabelle and Gooseneck Implement are subject to a special assessment, however, which will be the same as the amount they would normally pay for taxes. The special assessment payments are then used to pay for getting water and sewer lines extended to the property.
 
In the case of Annabelle Commercial, Ackerman guessed the payment may be $45,000 per year. Gooseneck Implement may pay $30,000 per year, Ackerman estimated.
 
“They are still paying about what they would if they were paying property taxes,” Ackerman said.
 
The North Dakota Century Code allows cities to use this incentive for commercial development only. The special assessment will bring infrastructure to the boundary of the properties. The interior infrastructure is not included in the special assessment.
 
In a related action, the council adopted a resolution creating and defining the boundaries of the water and sewer improvement district for the properties receiving the tax incentives.
 
City will build 4-plex
The council learned of a proposal to build a four-plex of townhomes on lots currently owned by the Kenmare Community Development Corporation at the corner of Central Avenue and 6th Street.
 
Tom Serie, a developer with SW Design Build, described the four-plex as being a mix of two- and three-bedroom apartments with attached double or single garages. He said the units would be single-story, “senior friendly, no steps.” Each will be 1300 square feet and larger, Serie said.
 
The developer will sell revenue bonds, also referred to as GEO bonds, in the amount of $650,000. Serie said the State Bank and Trust of Kenmare has offered to purchase all of the bonds.
 
Once completed, the Kenmare Housing Authority, under the City of Kenmare, will own the four-plex and be liable for paying off the bonds. The city may also sell the four-plex to anyone anytime after taking over the mortgage.
 
Serie said construction could begin the third week of September and be done by Thanksgiving. “Doing them quickly is not a problem,” Serie said. He added that his company has a formula for using local contractors. They must be within 105 percent of the low bid to be hired, he said.
 
A public hearing will be held September 12th at 8:00 pm to begin the process.
 
What’s your plan?
The city will request proposals from developers for residential development of three vacant blocks north of the old city landfill. The submitted proposals will be reviewed by the city council and considered based on their concept design and price.
 
The city’s master plan proposes lot 1 be developed for multifamily housing, described as six-plex and above with detached garages.
 
Lot 2 is intended to be developed with manufactured homes of the triple, double and single width variety, with detached garages.
 
Lot 3 is intended to be used for manufactured homes, single width, with no garages.
 
Submitted plans must illustrate a layout and supporting infrastructure in adequate detail.
 
The city is asking for proposals to be submitted by September 15.
 
Regarding the ultimate use of the property, Ackerman said, “It’s real fluid. We’re going through this process to get the feedback from the developers.”
 
Lot sold on bids
Just one bid was received for a city lot advertised for sale. Kara Smalls purchased the lot for a bid of $3800. The lot didn’t sell last month with the others because of an insufficient description of the property, located at the southeast corner of the intersection of 2nd Ave NW and 6th St NW.
 
The buyers of each of the city lots sold in the past two months must improve the property with a home within a set time frame.
 
In other action:
• Barb Wiedmer was appointed the Kenmare City Auditor.
 
• The proposed budget was approved on first reading.
 
• Council members were encouraged to attend the North Dakota League of Cities convention in Fargo, September 22-24.
 
• A liquor license transfer was approved for City Limits Bar to the Memorial Hall for a September 10 wedding party.
 
• The city received a $50,000 energy impact grant from an application by requested over $1 million. Mayor Roger Ness said the biggest share of the money went to the communities right in the heart of the oil activity.
 
• The city will hold a special meeting Monday, August 22, at 8:00 pm to speed up the water and sewer improvement project.
 
• Ryan Ackerman said McGuire Iron will have the concrete base and underground work for the new city water tower done by the end of the year. In-house fabrication of the water tank will take place during the winter.
 
• Police Chief Gary Kraft told the council of the new curfew hours imposed for minors. He informed them of the trouble that has occurred recently with unsupervised children being out roaming the streets and committing vandalism through the nighttime hours. Kraft added they have discovered many of the culprits and are getting the problem under control.
 
• Alderman Chuck Leet said the city will be fixing the timer of the warning siren mounted on the Memorial Hall and will resume sounding the siren and noon, 6 pm and 9:30 pm.
 
• Some commercial garbage rates are being reviewed and revised, specifically those disposing of high volumes of cardboard.
 
• The radio-read meter system is 6 commercial meters and 12 residential meters short of being ready for activation. Ness said other options will follow the implementation of the new system, such as paying the water bill by credit card.
 
• The council accepted a $17,000 grant towards new pagers for the fire department. The new pagers will accept “narrow banding” coming in 2013.
 
• The street committee reported all patches have been completed, but the streets have not been sealed. Work should start this week on replacing the culvert under the street near the Kenmare Dental Clinic.
 
• Ness said FEMA has approved payments of about 90 percent for the city’s costs to repairs to streets, a culvert, and lift station.
 
• The Beautification Committee has recently sent out an additional eight nuisance notice letters. Council member Terese Skjordal asked that city residents please continue to pick up litter as they encounter it. “There’s a lot of garbage around. Keep the city clean.”
 
• Work is progressing on creating complete new ordinance books.
 
• The CP Railway man camp has moved out of town.
 
• Ness said the city has sold no water for oilfield use in recent weeks, but that could change soon.