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Spring takes flight

Flocks of migrating birds are a reminder that spring has officially arrived in Minnesota. Friday, March 20, marked the spring equinox.  This flight of  white-fronted geese headed north between Tracy and Milroy Saturday afternoon. A dusting of snow Monday morning, with more predicted late Tuesday and Wednesday, was a reminder that no matter what the calendar says, some winter-like interludes are still possible.

Sell the EDA townhouses?
Maybe, Maybe Not

By Seth Schmidt


Should the Tracy Economic Development Authority make an effort to sell some of its four-plexes?

EDA members discussed that question Friday, and agreed to look into the issue further. City Administrator Mike Votca was instructed to ask City Attorney Frank Nielsen to research what authority the EDA has for selling the properties, and what process would have to be followed.

The EDA owns six four-plexes: the Eastview Apartments, Orchard Lane, and the Fifth St. Apartments.

EDA member Dennis Fultz said that cash flow and property taxes have been an issue in previous considerations of selling EDA-owned housing. The EDA is now responsible for a “payment in lieu of taxes” on the four-plexes.  If a private party owned the four-plexes, they would pay real estate taxes that would be substanially more.

Fultz recalled  that some years ago, a potential sale of some EDA four-plexes had been abandoned, after the buyer learned what the property taxes would be.  The cash flow from the rents, combined with the non-homestead property taxes, didn’t make for a workable deal at the selling price that the EDA wanted, Fultz said.

EDA discussion delved into the possibility of some four-plexes being divided and sold as duplexes, because of the homestead property tax advantages that an owner-occupied duplex would offer.

The sale discussion was held in light of large vacancy rates that now exist for the EDA’s 24 apartments.

It was reported that after April 1, that there could be nine vacant apartments in the EDA four-plexes: two at Eastview, six in the Fifth St. Apartments, and one at Orchard Lane.

The EDA is offering a “move in special” of $100 off the regular monthly rent for the first six months of a signed one-year lease. 

COUNTY FUNDS FOR LIBRARY. Lyon County leaders sent a definite signal of support for the Tracy Public Library Monday. Lyon County board chair Rick Anderson and county administrator Loren Stomberg presented an $11,741 county check to Librarian Val Quist and City Administrator Mike Votca. The money, which county leaders will be an annual commitment, will be used to expand library hours.