The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

November 12, 2013

Higher than expected growth boosts tax district

City could have $1.6 million in surplus

(Continued)

“Ending that district earlier, we all share in the benefit ... ,” Hentges said.

But like the decision to shift excess tax-increment financing funds into a new downtown parking ramp, diverting the extra abatement revenue could reduce future borrowing costs and the associated interest payments.

“I can never say never if it comes up,” Hentges said of amending the abatement district to fund some future road or infrastructure project on the northeast side.

Another northeast side rural subdivision is set to be annexed, so some of the excess could be used for that. The eastward extension of Adams Street to County Road 12 is another option mentioned at recent council meetings, although Hentges said that potential project wouldn’t happen unless landowners were ready to develop that area and were sharing in the cost of extending roads and utilities.

Councilor Karen Foreman said the city might want to keep that option available for another year or two, considering how rapidly the city is growing eastward.

“It’s something that could really take off at some point in time,” Foreman said of the development of vacant land east of Hilltop Hy-Vee.

The council could make the decision to capture all or part of the $1.6 million in excess abatement revenue anytime before the original road projects are paid off — something that isn’t expected to happen before 2016.

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