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Extra TIF money will boost downtown projects

The Downtown-Brockway TIF District will generate an excess of approximately $600,000. Recent legislation says that money can be used on eligible tax increment financing projects, and so the city council modified its district slightly to widen the project area.

Community Development director Kim Lindquist said the Minnesota Legislature has allowed funds created during the first 10 years from the date of a TIF District’s certification. In Rosemount’s case that means funds must be spent by July 29, 2014.

Tax Increment Financing is a funding tool used to promote improvements in specified areas. In this case, the downtown area was targeted. The Downtown-Brockway TIF was certified on July 29, 2004.

On Tuesday the city council conducted a public hearing to take comment on amending the TIF Plan to make way to use some of those funds. The council approved modifications to the plan adding properties on Cambrian Avenue to the district. Additionally, the council approved area on Cameo Avenue near a soon to-be-built private senior facility.

The Cambrian Avenue properties will be part of a Dakota County Community Development Agency senior housing project. Last month the port authority approved the sale of several city-owned properties to the CDA for the project. The property is known as the Genz Ryan property.

As part of the senior project, the CDA plans to purchase four houses along Cambrian Avenue. The city will be able to use the TIF funds to help with the purchase of one of the houses.

The area on Cameo Avenue was added in case future improvements are needed as another senior housing project moves forward. Stonebridge Development is developing a project on the site.

Originally, the Cambrian and Cameo properties were not located in the Redevelopment Project Area and so they weren’t included in the TIF Plan. Lindquist said those two documents will be updated.

Lindquist said there is a deal between the CDA and the homeowner of the Cambrian Avenue house. The deal includes possible TIF funds. The estimated cost is $40,000.

Another TIF-eligible construction project, also related to that CDA housing, is the installation of a right turn lane at the Genz Ryan site. The Minnesota Department of Transportation notified the city that the turn lane would be required with the development of the property. The estimated cost of the turn lane is $120,000.

There is also a sanitary sewer that runs along the back lot line of the Genz Ryan property that will need to be relocated due to the development of the site. Staff is investigating whether this expenditure would fit into the TIF guidelines. The estimated cost is $100,000.

Some other projects to be considered include construction of a sidewalk from the Greif Brothers building to the park and ride property on 145th Street. The city had identified Municipal State Aid funds for the project but demand for those funds are high. Lindquist said if TIF dollars could be used instead, then the MSA money could be spent elsewhere. The estimated cost is $300,000.

Lastly, staff suggested  some of the funds be used to install a fiber backbone in the business park, along Boulder Avenue and Boulder Trail. The estimated cost of that project is $80,000

The council will consider individual project in the coming months.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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