Alexandria City Council gives tax break to marine-sports projectBesides fees, the Alexandria City Council acted on a variety of other issues Monday. The council: • Agreed to provide tax increment financing (TIF) to the Cowing Terrace development.
By: Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press
Besides fees, the Alexandria City Council acted on a variety of other issues Monday.
• Agreed to provide tax increment financing (TIF) to the Cowing Terrace development.
The project will remove Cowing Robards’ rental center building on North Nokomis Street. A 12,000-square foot office, showroom and service facility will be built to support a new dealer and factory-authorized service center for Boomerang Marine and Sports.
The project is expected to increase the market value of the land from slightly below $600,000 to $1.14 million. The property taxes will be frozen at the rate they are now for 13 years and the money will be used to pay for the development.
The city will receive 20 percent of the increment each year for administrative fees.
• Accepted a bid from Willmar Electric to buy a new generator for Alexandria Light and Power’s water treatment plant.
The bid came in at $174,891, well below the estimate of $250,000 that was in ALP’s budget.
• Proclaimed October 9-15 as Fire Prevention Week. The Alexandria Fire Station will host an open house at 302 Fillmore Street on Monday, October 10 featuring fun and educational activities for children and their families.
To accommodate a medical helicopter display, the city agreed to block off Fillmore Street from 3rd to 4th Avenue that night from 5 to 7 p.m.
• Proclaimed October 16-22 as Professional Women’s Week.
• Agreed to change the hours at city hall, as requested by City Administrator Jim Taddei and staff.
It will be open the same hours as usual from April through September, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Hours in October through March will change to 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., opening an hour later than normal.
Taddei said there wasn’t a lot of activity during the winter.
• Agreed to amend a planned unit development submitted by the Alexandria Technical and Community College (ATCC) Foundation that would have constructed two 150-bed student dorms at the southwest corner of 17th Avenue and Jefferson Street.
The new plan calls for one 150-bed facility. The building and its courtyard will now face 17th Avenue, away from the nearby 3M facility, and will have a larger setback from 17th Avenue.
The existing parking has been relocated north to adjoin the building and a “buffer berm” with trees has been added to the south side of the site along a future extension of 18th Avenue, which adjoins the 3M property.
The 3M Corporation, which was the original donor of the land where the dorms were to be located, had concerns with the housing project and worked with the college on the revised plan.
• Accepted a bid of $141,401 from Mark Lee Excavating to replace and relocate a storm sewer pipe on South Broadway between 30th and 34th Avenue that was wrecked during a road construction project earlier this summer.
No one knew the line was in the middle of the road; they’re usually on the side of the street.
The section of street is barricaded right now. Because of safety concerns, the council voted to do the full project this fall instead of just patching it for the winter.
The money to pay for the project will come from storm water utility fees ($50,000) and the city’s capital improvement fund.
A cheaper option, estimated to cost about $60,000 was to replace a smaller portion of the pipe and not move it. However, the city was worried about the road surface heaving and damaging the pipe every year. Public Works Coordinator Bryan Bjorgaard estimated it would cost about $11,000 to $17,000 each year fixing broken joints and voids in the road.
Virgil Batesole was the only council member who voted against replacing the pipe and moving it. He said the line could be moved when property in the area is developed.
• Authorized City Attorney John Lervick and Taddei to draft a request to convey a portion of the Fair Board’s property to the city in lieu of a $20,000 payment the city made to the Fair Board in 2001 to convey a 5.31-acre piece of land to the Armory Commission.
An agreement to build a new Armory near the fairgrounds never materialized after 10 years so the Armory Commission recently conveyed the property back to the city and Fair Board.
• Ordered a feasibility report on a project that would make improvements to Thomas Drive. The city, and LaGrand Township, have considered the project in the past.
The road would be paved from South Oak Knoll Drive to East Oak Knoll Drive, about 5,000 feet.