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  • News Release: FF City Council gives itself dairy site options with two resolutions

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    February 26, 2020

    The Fergus Falls City Council passed two resolutions Tuesday night in a short meeting at City Hall which provides them with options in the future for setting up a tax increment district at the former Mid-Am Dairy site.

    The first resolution passed involved certain findings with respect to substandard buildings.

    “By taking this action tonight, you, the council, are just declaring that those old buildings on the dairy site are substandard,” city finance director Bill Sonmor said, adding that city staff has environmental studies and a response action plan which support this assertion.

    “Nobody can really argue that those are not substandard buildings,” Sonmor noted.

    The council was told that by passing the resolution it would be preserving the right to establish a redevelopment tax-increment district sometime in the future. Sonmor told the council it would have three years to carry out such a plan from when demolition takes place, which at the present time is expected to begin in the spring of 2020.

    “You are not obligating yourselves to setting up the district but you are giving yourself the option,” Sonmor said.

    The second resolution approved the terms of an interfund loan of up to $500,000 in connection with a proposed tax increment financing district.

    “This again just preserves your right, if we found we had a need to finance something internally in the future we need to establish that now. You as a council are saying up front that we would do that. It would be up to $500,000 (at 5% interest).”


    Sonmor told the council the figure of $500,000 was arrived by city staff after looking at the funding gap in the past. Sonmor pointed out  it is a sum that may or may not be used by the city in the future.

    Council member Scott Kvamme announced that the cooperative design group has completed the preparation of a survey for the Regional Treatment Center (RTC) for the master planning process. The survey is online at the city website: ci.fergus-falls.mn.us and hard copies are available at City Hall.

    “We encourage people to take that survey,” Kvamme said.

    Among the consent agenda items approved were:

    • A resolution authorizing the fire department to apply for a grant for a new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) station compressor and a station and mobile fill station. The station’s current compressor, which was installed in 1996, does not have the capacity to fill the department’s 30 SCBA storage bottles to 6,000 psi. The firefighters grant requires a 5% match. The requested grant amount will approximately be $80,000, which would require a local match of $4,000. According to Fire Chief Ryan Muchow, funds for the matching amount are available in the fire department’s equipment capital account.

    • A resolution accepting the cooperative construction agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Transportation for P.I. 5329. The agreement incorporates city-owned watermain and sanitary sewer forcemain relocation work into the project. The agreement will also include bituminous paving of local street approaches located at Two Rivers Road, Airport Road, and the non-primary airport approach located 2,300-feet west. The estimated cost of the project is $315,955.96.

    • A resolution approving the 2020 transportation services agreement with Productive Alternatives. During the meeting, Kvamme asked Sonmor to review the agreement for the council. The agreement began in 2006. At the time the city was operating two buses in their own fleet. The Productive Alternatives agreement expanded the service. The city’s agreement with Productive Alternatives provides for a $50,000 contribution by the city toward operation of the service, a sum which comes out of the general fund.

    Click Here for full article by the Daily Journal

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