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Cokato council sets public hearing for proposed TIF project
AUG. 25, 2014

By Kristen Miller
News Editor

The Cokato City Council will continue to explore the tax increment financing option for five parcels of land located in the vicinity of Highway 12 and Wright County Road 3.

During a special meeting Wednesday, a report from LHB engineering firm was presented, which determined the roughly five acres of land was eligible for redevelopment and tax increment financing.

Determining whether or not the property was eligible was at the request of Oppidan, a developer, that is interested in receiving tax increment financing to aid in the construction of a new 25,860-foot commercial building. Shopko would be the intended lessee, as indicated at a July workshop.

The council set a public hearing for Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. At that time, the council will review the information from their attorney and financial advisor to determine whether to go forward with the tax increment financing.

Other business

In other matters, the council:

• approved the bond sale for the Seventh Street improvement project for $1,375,000 at 3.08 percent interest to City Securities of Indianapolis, IN.

• was informed that property owners at 377 Third Street SW wish to sell their property, though their house is located partially on the Johnson Street right of way; land that the city owns. This, in turn, impedes the sale of the Mattila property.

It was noted that the right of way is not a buildable lot.

The city attorney, Ron Batty, gave the council four options, including offering to sell the land to the Mattilas.

Batty suggested the council close the meeting to discuss sale price.

Upon opening the meeting, the council agreed to sell the land at a sale price not to exceed $1,500, just enough for the city to cover the cost of the transaction and related fees.

• was informed that several lots in Trailstone Third Addition are eligible for tax forfeiture in 2014 and 2015.

The council directed staff to work with the property owners for the tax forfeiture process.

• was informed that Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home would like to demolish and build a new crypt at the Cokato City Cemetery.

It was noted that the current crypt has become insufficient due to its poor structural integrity.

The crypt would be built at no cost to the city and then gifted to the city in return for a 75-year lease agreement at $1 per year, with Swanson Peterson Funeral Home maintaining the facility.

The council directed staff to engage in a lease agreement with the funeral home.

• approved a pay request for Highway 12 pedestrian crosswalk curb work in the amount of $29,293.

It was noted that the crosswalk project should be completed and usable within the next week.

• set a budget workshop for Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. The preliminary levy needs to be approved and to the state by Sept. 30.

• set the annual citywide cleanup for Saturday, Oct. 11 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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