BAXTER -- The Baxter Economic Development Authority Tuesday unanimously endorsed the Job Opportunity Building Zone, or JOBZ proposal, agreeing to the maximum 12-year length of time the tax-free enterprise zone would remain in effect in the city if approved by the state, rather than eight years as the Brainerd City Council voted in a split vote Monday.
The EDA, which includes all members of the Baxter City Council, met after Tuesday's Baxter City Council meeting. EDA members agreed to participate in the JOBZ program, an incentive created by the Legislature for business development and job creation in Greater Minnesota.
Sheila Haverkamp, Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corp. executive director, presented information on the program to the Baxter EDA Tuesday. She and city staff members identified about 453 acres of land in the industrial and office service zones that could be included in the JOBZ proposal. Land included in the proposed map included Dean Salvage Yard parcels, existing industrial park parcels and future expansion parcels, as well as potential office/service zoned land and property owned by Potlatch and the railroad.
In order to participate in the program, the city had to identify the land and set the duration of the zone. The deadline for the city to have the parcels identified is Oct. 1, said Haverkamp. The Region 5 Development Commission, which includes the counties of Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena, has adopted a resolution to approve the application request for a JOBZone in Region 5, which includes any communities seeking to participate within those counties. The state requires all information from each participating municipality in the five counties of Region 5 by Oct. 15, she said.
Baxter EDA members agreed to participate in the program, but decided to postpone a decision about what land to include until the next EDA meeting at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 24, giving city staff members more time to finalize the tax free zones the city would propose to the state.
Crow Wing County has been allocated 1,000 acres to designate for the JOBZones. Haverkamp said she was confident that Baxter could get every parcel that the city wants approved under the program. If other counties in Region 5 don't use their 1,000-acre allotment, those acres could be given to Crow Wing County, she said.
The Crow Wing County Board needs to adopt a resolution for the program in order for the application to go into effect.
In other EDA action, board members purchased about 2.5 acres of property from Richard and Kelly Dean Jr. for $75,000 for future industrial park expansion.
The final payment of $8,600 to Navillus Land Co. was approved for an industrial park clearing and grubbing contract.
The EDA set the lot price at $79,000 an acre for the remaining two lots in Phase 3 of the Industrial Park, Lots 2 and 3, Block 1.
The EDA canceled the right of first refusal to Marty Carlson for Lot 2, Block 1 of Phase 3 in the Baxter Industrial Park and offered a 90-day right of first refusal for Lot 3, Block 1 of Phase 3 Baxter Industrial Park for $100, in effect until Oct. 29.
The EDA accepted a withdrawal letter from Bob Dorr of DECO and canceled the purchase agreement, with the city retaining the earnest money.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.