With help in the form of tax breaks from the city, Taco John's will be moving to a new location along Washington Street.
Following a public hearing Monday, the Brainerd City Council unanimously approved creating a tax increment financing district for Taco John's, which plans to build a 2,300 square foot building at the former the former Champion Auto and former O'Reilly auto site in northeast Brainerd. Council members Bob Olson and Lucy Nesheim were absent from Monday's meeting.
With the tax increment agreement, Taco John's will receive 90 percent of the tax increment over 26 years, up to a maximum of $252,788 per year.
The council also approved a developer's contract with Taco John's and asked the county to appraise a small piece of tax forfeited land on the proposed Taco John's site, which would be sold to the city and in turn be sold to the developer.
Council President Kelly Bevans, while in favor of the tax increment financing request, said he received calls from residents concerned about a council member profiting from tax increment financing. Bevans did not name the council member. According to Crow Wing County tax information records available online, Olson is the owner of 106 Third Avenue N.E., which is part of the block being bought by Taco John's developers. He has previously told the council he would abstain from voting on the tax increment request.
"I understand the concerns and we will be watching it very closely," Bevans said.
In other action, the council adjourned to 7 p.m. Monday for the truth in taxation hearing and a closed session regarding contract negotiations.
Held first readings on proposed ordinances regulating erosion and sediment control, storm water utility, illicit discharges to the storm sewer system and storm water management. The public hearings, final reading and votes on the proposed ordinance will take place Dec. 17.
Denied a rental license to a property owner at 918 Ivy St. for failure to correct code violations and by a 3-2 vote denied for six months a rental license to a property owner at 1605 10th Ave. N.E. for failure to correct code violations. Voting against the denial for 1605 10th Ave. N.E. were council members Anne Nelson Fisher and Kelly Bevans. Both properties will be able to reapply for a license at a future date.
Approved the sale of advertising on the Zamboni at the Brainerd Area Civic Center.
Approved releasing $12,416 in matching grants to Brainerd Restoration for the downtown Brainerd holiday decorations.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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