Tax Increment Financing is a tool cities use to help subsidize projects. This week the Council heard a presentation from EDA Coordinator, Nate Carlson, on a local company’s expansion. Aurora Pharmaceutical, a local veterinary pharmaceutical company has over 100 “highly skilled” employees and are national distributors of pharmaceuticals that maximize livestock and companion animal health. They received approval of a new product by the FDA and, with that, will need to expand their manufacturing space.
While they’ve had offers of free land, tax rebates and grants from another state, they want to stay local. Due to their location off Hwy 3 behind Cannon Valley Vet, the expansion will mean purchasing public land. They need about 15,000 sq. ft (.35 acre) of current city owned parkland that runs along the E. Cannon trail behind their building. They need to reconfigure drainage ponds, maximize the building footprint in order to comply with the LDC. The purchase price was figured at nearly $23,000, which will go to the City’s park fund. Aurora building manager, Randy Ernst spoke to the Planning Commission a couple of weeks ago. He said they’re working hard to make it look pleasing, they’ll plant shrubs and trees and offer a place for picnickers near the trail. Carlson said the project, right now, will exceed $2 million with the possibility of further expansion. Carlson said Aurora doesn’t need “up front” financing but would like a “pay as you go” TIF. The ask is for $230,000 over an 8 year timeframe. The EDA and the Planning Commission have both reviewed the plans and recommended approval to the Council. A public hearing will be held at the City Council’s September 4th meeting. 5 – Aurora Expansion Presentation
Help raise the bleachers at the Rodeo site!
Out with the old, in with the new. The Defeat of Jesse James Days rodeo grounds have been getting a makeover with new(er) bleachers. Committee members TJ Heinricy and Sandy Vesledahl were in studio with a request, help them raise the bleachers. No wrenches involved, just a drive over to Dokmo Ford this Saturday. From 9am to 2pm all you have to do is test drive a vehicle. For every test drive, Ford will donate $20 toward the bleacher project up to $6,000. The old bleachers were bought used over 30 years ago. As for the new bleachers, they were bought used in 2016 from Jackson Speedway. They were put in a field until the Committee raised enough money, they thought, to put them together. However, with a giant erector set, sometimes pieces are missing. Heinricy said with aluminum prices high they had to scramble to find pieces. He added that they wanted to make sure they’re structurally sound, make sure “everything is safe, so we went above and beyond and put in additional bracing”. That needs to be put in before the seats. Peterson Equipment is putting them together. There was also a lot of dirt moving and more rock that needed to brought in. Heinricy said, “it was one of them things where we bought them, we thought, at a great price. And then found out it takes that same great price again to put them together”. The new bleachers will seat about 1500 and will have handicap accessibility. Vesledahl said they’d like to see 300 people come drive a vehicle at Dokmo Ford to raise $6,000.
Renovations continue at Reunion
Renovations continue at the future home of Reunion, on the corner of 5th and Division. Brett Reese, part of the local ownership group, said it’s taking a little longer than they anticipated to bring the buildings back to their former glory. The historic structures date from the 1870’s and the renovations to this point have been aimed at uncovering the original character of the spaces. When the project is complete the casual restaurant and bar will have a historic, urban, industrial feel. Patrons will enter Reunion from the 5th Street corner and walk into a grand entry with a two-story foyer and bar. The street level will also contain dining tables with an open woodfire grill kitchen, while the upstairs will contain another bar & lounge and an entertainment/event space. Reunion plans to open for business in the Spring of 2019. Reunion Construction Moving Forward