By Chad Koenen


The City of New York Mills will not put assessments on a pair of vacant lots at the new South Point project.

During its regularly scheduled meeting last week, the NY Mills City Council approved to not attach assessments to a pair of vacant lots that were established due to the future development of a 60-unit apartment complex in South Point. 

Due to the circumstances with the developer paying a premium to install the road as part of the apartment complex, city clerk Julie Roberts said the city attorney informed her that the council had a good argument for why it could avoid attaching assessments on the two properties. 

Last month the city council expressed a desire to not put assessments on the two properties due to the unique nature of the apartment complex and subsequent lots. If the city had assessed the properties for the installation of utilities and roads, the assessment to each property was estimated to be close to $50,000 apiece. 

Council members last month expressed a concern with attaching such a high assessment with each property given the current state of the housing market and a desire to get the properties sold and on the tax roll. 

Prior to moving forward with a decision to not put assessments on the properties the council asked for an opinion from the city attorney to ensure it was not setting a precedent for future projects. The city attorney said due to the unique nature of the project as a whole it could make a case as why it wouldn’t need to assess the two properties.

Instead of putting assessments on the properties, the city council expressed an interest to sell the properties for a set dollar amount and recoup as much of their investment into the development as possible.

In other news

• Heard the liquor store report, which showed that combined gross sales for the month of October were up 10 percent from last year. Net revenues were down 27.59 percent for the year from last year and the change over prior year as a percentage of sales was 3.61 percent. Liquor store manager Lana Jacobson said there were a number of new features at the liquor store like new wine selections in the off sale. 

• Heard from Utility Manager Kyle Mattson who said the shop addition is moving along with electrical, plumbing and heating rough ins being wrapped up. Insulation and sheet rock will follow when inspections are completed. The city approved a pair of change orders from Hammers Construction for extra concrete debris cleanup and disposal which was found during the foundation excavation. The second change order was for additional wall insulation and plywood for the build out area over the tunnel. The change orders totaled approximately $8,300.

• Accepted a $6,207.66 donation from Perham Health to the City of NY Mills for the purchase of exercise equipment for the NY Mills Fitness Center. 

• Heard that the city is proceeding with the annexation of properties in Newtonville and is hoping to the annexation process done by the end of the year. The city hit a 90-day mark seeking comments from affected property owners at the end of October.