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September 25, 2017

8/17/2017 4:40:00 PM
Taylors Falls approves conduit financing, deer hunt and border cities

Taylors Falls City Council, minus, member Larry Julik Heine, unanimously approved $8 million in conduit financing for Community Asset Foundation, a non-profit corporation that built and owns The Lodge, a senior community in Taylors Falls.

The corporation sought to use Taylors Falls’ tax exempt status to issue new financing for four of its existing projects:  The Lodge and also a senior housing facility in Howard Lake, one in Winthrop and one in Mountain Lake.

The debt is not a Tayors Falls liability.  

Community Assets representative Bob Roepke said the non-profit “appreciates the partnership” and the move makes good financial sense.
Mayor Mike Buchite added that Taylors Falls is doing this as much for its citizens as for improving the viability of The Lodge,  by reducing interest payments. Buchite said now residents can remain in Taylors Falls to end of life if they choose,  and don’t have to move away due to lack of needed services and housing.

Council also approved continuation of the city bow hunt deer management program, upon receiving approval of the Dept. of Natural Resources.  DNR game specialist Gino D’Angelo told council in an e mail “deer numbers are quite strong in the hunting areas encompassing Taylors Falls (225 and 236)...I encourage the community of Taylors Falls to have an in-town bow hunt this year.”

For details on permits contact city hall.

Two city street projects were awarded to Prefer Paving out of Rush City, to be done yet this summer;   a $3,000 quote to do patches at Briar and Locust and a stormwater related pavement repair project on Military Road for $21,450.

Heritage Park is in need of maintenance and some repairs to the “beams” that outline the overlook.  The Shafer-based Lakes Area Manufacturing will fabricate the brackets or plates to hold the 16 foot long green treated timbers between their supports.  The entire project comes out of the park fund and is estimated to cost $5,541.  The overlook should be completed in time for this fall’s influx of leaf-watchers, staff assured council.
Solar demand

The Conditional Use Permit that allowed for a community solar garden on Herberg Road, to be developed by Ecoplexus, was extended for another year.  
The firm hopes to be on the site sometime in September but the director of permitting for Ecoplex told council in a letter that the company has found solar contractors and equipment are in demand and hard to come by.  

The extended permit goes to August 2018.  If the project isn’t completed by that time-- the permit process begins all over again.

And, as anticipated,  the council unanimously adopted the subsidies that were appropriated through the legislature in the last session,  and the city’s policy to utilize the financial aid. The Border Cities Development Zone is earmarked for 10 applicants, at $5,000 a piece.  (Story August 10 Press.)
The state’s program for Border Cities allocates tax relief in the form of income tax or property tax credits.  It is administered by the MN Dept. of Employment and Economic Development.

Zoning Administrator Adam Berklund said interest since the story appeared in print about the legislature awarding the funding, has been great. He expects to bring applications to fully use the total $50,000 in state aid, to council to act on next month.

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