BAXTER - The Baxter City Council on Tuesday set a 7 p.m. April 17 public hearing to consider tax increment financing for Arbor Glen II senior housing.
The council heard about the proposed project from developers Tuesday. However, some council members had reservations about using TIF funds for the project since only 20 percent of the 50 units would be low-income housing for seniors. Council members wanted to see more low-income housing for seniors. Development owner Mike Swenson is asking for a 20-year TIF district for the project.
TIF funds were used to build neighboring Arbor Glen, also a senior housing project.
"We need to make sure we do the best thing for our buck in Baxter," council member Rob Moser said. "20 percent doesn't seem to be a substantial amount."
Swenson said the project site originally was intended to be a nursing home facility, but research found that the market was not conducive for another nursing home facility. He said there is a high demand for senior housing, particularly for one-bedroom apartments.
Swenson said TIF funds are needed to make it a viable project. He said that in the past four years, construction costs have gone up $30,000 per unit since the first Arbor Glen was built.
Swenson said he's put $700,000 of his own funds into the proposed Arbor Glen II project and he's struggling to make the $4.4 million project work.
The council also appointed Greg Kvale to the Utilities Commission.
Also, the council hired Joseph Klein as a senior parks maintenance worker. Council member Jim Klein abstained from the vote.
The council also passed an ordinance to amend city zoning regulations by updating the Shoreland Overlay District but tabled a motion to allow the transfer of impervious surface rights for the city.
JODIE TWEED can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.
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