At the recent city council meeting, a public hearing was held to consider a tax abatement for a business parcel for CDG (Carlson Development Group) Premier Marine Project. The purpose of a tax abatement is to give the business a break in city taxes in the hopes of stimulating economic growth or creating new jobs. The abatement proposed would take place over 12 to 15 years.
The company manufactures pontoons. It will create 193 new jobs, with another 70 within three years. The company owners expected that 25-30% of the jobs would be filled by current employees who follow the company in the relocation.
Councilmember Ken Halverson brought up the subject of a possible expansion for the proposed site, which he had heard may be a possibility in five years. Halverson requested that any addition not be considered for a further tax abatement until the one the council considered fell off. The company was willing to work with city staff on such an agreement.
The company owners, Chris and Debbie Carlson, are long time Big Lake residents and were very excited about the chance to move their company to the city.
Three residents spoke during the public hearing in support of the abatement, with none against.
Preliminary 2022 Tax Levy
The proposed levy would increase by 6.43% over 2021, which would actually be a slight decrease in the tax rate (due to growth in the city) so many residents would see their taxes decrease slightly.
BLFD Monthly Report
Chief Seth Hansen reported that the department had 48 calls last month. He also reported successful community events in the night to unite, and two block parties. A fire department open house will be held Oct. 10 and the public is invited to attend. Activities such as kids’ games will be provided.
BLPD Monthly Report
Chief Matt Hayen reported 1,009 calls for last month. The department accepted a donation from TLC Toys. Officers were present at community events such as the chamber block party and the Local Heros Days in Monticello. The department also accepted several donations earlier in the meeting from community groups and citizens.
Engineering Monthly Report
Phases one through four of the street utility project will be completed this year, with stage five being completed this spring.
Administrator Clay Wilfahrt reminded the public watering bans are still in place despite recent rain. It will take time for the city aquifer to recover.