EDC approves general fund transfer
Lessard addition filling up
GRAFTON – At its regular monthly meeting held Feb. 5, the Grafton Economic Development Committee (EDC) gave its blessing to transfer $100,000 from the sales tax general fund to the Grow Grafton Fund.
Since 2007, the Grow Grafton program has provided an incentive for the construction of new homes in Grafton. The program distributes $20,000 to those building a new home in the city. Other incentives linked with the program include a $150,000 tax exemption on the value of the home for two years and city lots for $1.
City Administrator Nick Ziegelmann informed the EDC that the sales tax general fund currently has a balance of $219,00. The Grow Grafton fund currently has roughly $65,000 in it. The transfer would cover five new homes that either are in the process of being built, or will be built during the 2014 construction season, leaving the $65,000 balance.
Two of those homes are located on Northstar Drive, another is on McHugh Avenue and two more are in the Lessard Addition.
Ziegelmann told the EDC that there is space for eight more lots in the Lessard Addition. Six of those lots currently have a road, curb and gutter and utilities. The remaining two will have them put in place in 2014.
He said at the current rate of construction he could see the addition filled by 2016.
Including the transfer approximately $900,000 has been allocated to the Grow Grafton Fund.
From Dec. 2006 to Aug. 2010, Marvin Windows and Doors contributed $500,000 to the fund. Money for the Grow Grafton program since then has come via a Sales Tax Fund contribution from the EDC.
A motion was made by Chris Lipsh to recommend the city council approve the transfer. The motion was seconded by Len Wysocki.
During discussion on the matter, committee member Don Hutson expressed his belief that the Grow Grafton program had run its course and the money might be more wisely spent on infrastructure needs, like roads, the water plant improvement project and a future flood diversion project.
EDC chairperson Jean Jiskra defended the program saying that people wouldn’t be building in the city if it wasn’t for Grow Grafton.
The motion carried with Hutson the lone dissenting vote.