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Toole County Commissioners to make decision on land sale Thurs. morning

(SHELBY) – TOOLE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WILL DECIDE TOMORROW (Thurs.)

MORNING ON WHETHER OR NOT TO SELL A 16-ACRE PARCEL OF LAND NORTH OF

THE 4-COUNTY MARIAS FAIRGROUNDS.

SOME OPPOSITION TO THE SALE WAS EXPRESSED AT A PUBLIC MEETING

IN SHELBY TUESDAY NIGHT.   ONE MAN SIMPLY SAID “IT’S PUBLIC LAND AND WE

SHOULD LEAVE IT THAT WAY.

THE MARIAS FAIR BOARD RECOMMENDED THE SALE BACK IN DECEMBER

BUT FAIR BOARD MEMBER BUSTER BROWN SAID HE WAS OPPOSED TO THE MOVE

FROM THE BEGINNING AND VOTED NO WHEN THE FAIR BOARD VOTED BACK IN DECEMBER.

AT THE MEETING TUESDAY NIGHT BROWN TOLD KSEN THAT THE SALE HAD

BECOME SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE ORIGINAL PRESENTATION BUT

HE ALSO ADMITTED THAT A LOT OF THE QUESTIONS WERE ANSWERED AT THE MEETING.  HE

STATED IN THE FAIR BOARD MEETING IN DECEMBER, “MOST PEOPLE IN THE COUNTY WOULD

NOT WANT TO SEE US SELL THE PROPERTY.”

FAIR BOARD CHAIRMAN TRAVIS CLARK FAVORS THE MOVE SAYING THE SALE

MAY BE WHAT GETS THE BUS MOVING ON IMPROVING THE FAIRGROUNDS.

THE PROPERTY WOULD BE PURCHASED BY CENEX HARVEST STATES FOR ABOUT

300-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO BUILD A FERTILIZER PLANT.   THE PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE

WOULD GO INTO A CAPITAL EXPENSE FUND FOR IMPROVEMENTS AT THE FAIRGROUNDS.

SHELBY MAYOR DR. LARRY BONDERUD SAID THE PLANT WOULD EMPLOY

APPROXIMATELY 15 PEOPLE FULL TIME AND IS ABOUT A 10-MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT.

NUMEROUS PEOPLE HAVE QUESTIONED WHY THE CITY OF SHELBY HAS BECOME

INVOLVED BECAUSE THE PLAN NOW IS TO SELL THE LAND TO THE CITY AND THEN SELL

IT TO CHS AS A “TAX INCREMENT FINANCING DISTRICT.”

IN ITS SIMPLEST FORM, A TAX INCREMENT FINANCING DISTRICT ALLOWS THE CITY

TO SELL BONDS AND THEN USE THE PROCEEDS TO PAY FOR THE BUILLDING, PAY FOR THE

LAND AND OTHER NEEDED INFRASTRUCTURES WITH CHS USING FUTURE TAXES AS COLLATERAL.

THE DISTRICTS WERE SET UP THRU THE STATE AS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TOOLS

AND THE CITY CREATED THAT AREA AS SUCH ABOUT 5 YEARS AGO, ACCORDING TO BONDERUD.

IT IS WHY THE CITY HAS BECOME INVOLVED.

COMMISSIONERS ARE EXPECTED TO MAKE A FINAL DECISION ON THE SALE AT A

MEETING TOMORROW (THURS.) MORNING AT 10AM.

TOOLE COUNTY COMMISSIONER ALAN UNDERDAL COMMENTED THAT

“CHS WOULD LIKE TO SEE THIS MOVE FORWARD.”

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