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Council seeks input on tax break request

A public hearing will take place during the Alexandria City Council's Monday, Oct. 9 meeting to consider a tax increment financing request from Unique Development, LLP.

It wants to build a $1.5 million 12-unit apartment complex for low-income families at 1810 Sixth Avenue East.

It's the first phase of a plan to build four 15,000-square-foot buildings on McKay Avenue, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. Each building would house six three-bedroom units, five four-bedrooms and one five-bedroom.

The tax assistance that's being considered is only for the first phase of the project. The total cost of all four phases would amount to $6 million.

With tax increment financing, property values are frozen at the current amount for a specified period of time and the new higher taxes that would normally be paid once the property is redeveloped is diverted to help cover some of the costs of the project.

Unique Development is requesting tax assistance for 18 years.

Since the property, owned by LifeRight Outreach, is already tax-exempt, no property taxes would be collected during that time, saving the developers a projected $122,000, which must be used to help cover the costs of developing the land.

The development would increase the value of the land and building to about $1.3 million.

The hearing is set to take place at 7:15 p.m.

Other items on the agenda include:

• Approving the sale of $1.685 million in electric utility revenue refunding bonds for Alexandria Light and Power Utilities.

• Approving the purchase of three 2018 Ford police utility interceptor all-wheel-drive vehicles.

• Creating a new assistant finance director position.

• Taking final action on an ordinance that clarifies the regulations for on-street parking of trailers. Under the revised ordinance, it would be illegal to leave or park a trailer that's detached from its towing vehicle, or a semitrailer on or within the limits of any street or right of way.

• Proclaiming Oct. 22-28 at Professional Women's Week.

Also, City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven will talk about municipal state aid allocations that the city expects to receive, and update the council about current road construction projects.

City Attorney Tom Jacobson and City Administrator Marty Schultz may also have items to share with the council.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall. The council will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. to discuss next year's capital project budget. No action will be taken during the special meeting.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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