BEMIDJI -- Local business owner Mitch Rautio's goal of a new housing development took another step forward this week.
Over the course of Bemidji City Council and Bemidji Economic Development Authority meetings, officials adjusted the municipality's redevelopment district and established a tax increment financing district. Both actions were to advance Rautio's proposed development.
Through his company, Puddle Duck Properties, Rautio is intending to develop a piece of land bordered by Rako Street Southwest, Lakeview Drive, 18th Street and Washington Avenue. The development has been referred to as Mountain View Meadows.
The area is roughly 48 acres of land and Rautio has said there are intentions to have a mix of single-family homes and multi-family housing complexes. Additionally, there will be room for a small commercial development.
The whole process, according to City Manager Nate Mathews, is being made possible because of the TIF district process.
"Cities are approached by developers when they assess a project and believe that they're not able to financially complete a project because of public infrastructure costs and other costs," Mathews said. "What the city and the developer are doing is capturing the new taxes that are being generated because of the development in that district. Those taxes collected will then be returned to the developer so they can recover those public costs, such as roads and sidewalks."
According to city documents the estimated tax increment revenue expected is $16.3 million, with an anticipated $1.6 million in interest for a total of $18 million.
Mathews said the redevelopment district spans across the city limits, which allows for TIF districts to be established. However, because of recent annexation, Mathews said the redevelopment district had to be changed, too.
Within the next month, Mathews said city officials will now review agreements related to the TIF district and development of the land before approving them. Once approved at the city level, they can then be entered into with the developers.