May 28, 2024

 Law enforcement center proposal passed by county

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C. A. Ray

Grant County Herald

The Grant County Board of Commissions agreed to enter into a funding mechanism agreement with the Elbow Lake Economic Development Authority (ELEDA) to lease, with the option to purchase, a new Law Enforcement Center that would be built by the ELEDA. The action came at a special meeting last Tuesday morning. 

The ELEDA will bond for $8.5 million in 20 year lease/revenue bonds to build on a county-owned park just north of the Grant County Courthouse after obtaining final approval from the State Historical Preservation Office. SHPO must approve the project  which is expected since they have already approved the design/development phase of the project, and are expected to approve the next phase within 30 days, when groundbreaking can happen.

The motion to enter into the funding agreement was made by Commissioner, and former Grant County Sheriff, Dwight Walvatne, who said, “I cannot overstate the importance of this decision today for the county. This will set us up for 50 to 100 years.”

The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bill LaValley and passed 3-2 with Walvatne, LaValley and Commissioner Doyle Sperr voting yes and Commissioners Ken Johnson and Troy Johnson voting no.

“I am not against the project,” Troy Johnson explained. “But I don’t like the process.”

Walvatne and LaValley also made a motion to accept a guaranteed maximum price of $7,697,120 for construction costs. This does not include so-called soft costs for furniture, and leasing or purchasing a generator, etc. This motion passed 4-1 with all but Commissioner Ken Johnson voting yes.

A tax impact statement presented by County Auditor Chad Van Santen showed property taxes on the LEC bond for a residential parcel with a $100,000 taxable market value would be $35.11. Currently there is a bond tax of  $21.96 for the courthouse bond, which will be paid off in 2024 so the property bond tax increase would be  $13.15.

Property taxes on the LEC bond for an ag homestead first tier parcel with a $100,000 taxable market value would be $17.56. Currently there is a bond tax of $10.98 for the courthouse bond which will be paid off in 2024 so the property bond tax increase would be  $6.58.

Property taxes on the LEC bond for an ag non homestead excess first tier with a $100,000 taxable market value would be  $35.11. Currently there is a bond tax of  $21.96 for the courthouse bond which will be paid off in 2024 so the property bond  tax increase would be $13.15.

And property taxes on the LEC bond for a commercial/industrial parcel with a $100,000 taxable market value would be $52.57. Currently there is a bond tax of  $32.94 for the courthouse bond which would be paid off in 2024 so the property bond  tax increase would be  $19.73.

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