expansion atEDA hopes to bring future building project to reality

By Chad Koenen

Publisher

The New York Mills EDA has reaffirmed its desire to continue moving forward with the South Point development project.

During its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday morning, which was held in the Government Services building, the NY Mills EDA spent quite a bit of time discussing the need for more housing options in NY Mills. With just  a handful of lots available at Country View, the EDA said it would like to get a more firm cost of what it would cost to develop the South Point project. The hope was the lots would be available for people looking to construct a new home in the community. 

The housing project on the south side of town has been discussed for a number of years and a walking trail has already been installed on the South Point property. 

While the EDA expressed its desire to move forward with the project, city clerk Julie Roberts cautioned the EDA about overextending the current staff members. She said the city already is planning several projects like the North Boardman road project, completing work at the Government Services (county) building and working on the new city shop.

“Next summer is very full already for Kyle (Mattson) and the things he has to manage. We don’t want to get Kyle so bogged down with things,” she said. “I know there is a big push to do it, but we have to make sure we are not over extending the staff we have too.”

Still, several EDA members said incentive programs like Otter Tail County’s Big Build, which offers tax incentives for new homes, has a limited window. With those tax incentives set to expire at the end of 2022, the EDA said now is the optimal time to move ahead with the planning for the South Point project. The program offers up to $10,000 in rebates in five years ($5,000 in county real estate taxes and $5,000 in local participating city taxes) for new homes. 

Currently the property is being rented as farm land and the EDA recommended ending that lease at the end of the year to allow for workers to complete tasks as needed to further the South Point project. That recommendation will be brought forward to the city council at its next regular meeting. 

In other news

• Heard that the Lead for America program will not be having a person in New York Mills. The EDA applied to have a person work in the community for two years to help promote economic activity and potentially housing growth, but the program could not find a good fit for the community from its list of candidates.

• Discussed a Safe Routes to School plan that could provide a safe crossing for people to get across Highway 67 to school. 

• Heard the EDA is exploring options for a fitness center for local residents in the community.