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County agrees to tax abatement for Stewart road

The McLeod County Board of Commissioners agreed to a tax abatement plan Feb. 16 that will aid the city of Stewart in building a bypass road on the north edge of the city. The intent of the bypass road is to channel truck traffic off County Road 7, east of the city, to Form-A-Feed, located on the northwest edge of town.
Shannon Sweeney of David Drown Associates, the city of Stewart’s financial consultant, explained that Form-A-Feed plans to expand its operation, and expects an additional 210 truck trips a day.
A connector road between County Road 7 and Form-A-Feed will cost about $1 million, Sweeney said. The city is seeking a grant of $500,000 from the state, “but also understands that it needs to fund a significant portion of the project.”
Form-A-Feed is currently in the JOBZ program, which is set to expire this year. That JOBZ program captured about $8,000 a year to aid Form-A-Feed with growth.
Sweeney suggested replacing the JOBZ aid with a tax abatement in an equal amount. That means abating the county’s portion of property taxes, Sweeney said, and capturing that revenue to help pay for the road.
Sweeney suggested a 10-year abatement schedule, with a not-to-exceed amount of $80,000 in tax abatement for the 10-year period.
Because no one showed up at a public hearing regarding the matter, and because the County Board felt the connector road was needed, it approved the tax abatement.

For more from the meeting, see the Feb. 24 print edition of The Chronicle.