Wanted: New house construction | Thief River Falls Times & Northern Watch – Official page

by Avril Scheinoha
Journalist

Looking to build a single family home in Thief River Falls? At its meeting on Tuesday, November 16, Thief River Falls city council approved an incentive to get people to build in the city.

The council approved a three-year tax abatement for the construction of new single-family homes, regardless of the cost or location of the home. The program only applies to tourist taxes; however, Pennington County Council and Thief River Falls School District have been made aware of the program and may decide to offer a similar tax abatement if they wish. The city’s program begins on January 1.

“I hope this gives a little boost to housing here,” said Steve Narverud, board member.

In the past, the city has offered an incentive program for the construction of single-family homes. However, its residential tax abatement program expired in 2020. At that time, council decided not to renew the program in which homeowners received a tax rebate for a new single-family home of a. value of $ 200,000 or less. These tax breaks were three years if there were no special contributions on the plot and seven years if there were special contributions. The latter part of this program turned out to be problematic, which led to the decision to offer this new tax abatement program instead. The public works committee also recommended removing the limit on the cost of the house.

In the past, the average annual total abatement was about $ 8,000 in municipal taxes. The highest amount was over $ 12,000 in 2019.

Pennington County also cut taxes as part of the original program. The Thief River Falls school district only cut taxes in the addition of the Greenwood neighborhood.

Board member Rachel Prudhomme expressed frustration over a Planning Board decision to deny Evergreen Catering and Bakery’s request to build a drive-thru at its location along Greenwood Street. She noted that a drive-thru would limit face-to-face contact during the pandemic.

Prudhomme noted that the request was denied because a drive-thru did not comply with an industrial park. She added that bakeries are already improper use in the city’s industrial parks.

Narverud, who sits on the Planning Commission, said the commission approved the construction of Evergreen in an industrial estate because, at the time, it did not offer baked goods for sale outside of that location. Narverud added that the commission encouraged owner Lisa Robson to find a new retail location elsewhere. He said she was trying to find a new retail location and plans to keep the current location for production.

Prudhomme responded that the current site is convenient for Digi-Key employees. She further noted that city leaders anticipate that more businesses will be located in this region in the future.

After being informed that his drive-thru plans had been discussed at the board meeting, Robson contacted The Times. She indicated that she did not plan to look for another retail location.


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