NU Tax Abatement Approved 19 Dec 12

The New Ulm City Council spent nearly an hour Tuesday evening debating a tax abatement request for a new agricultural laboratory and testing facility wanting to locate in New Ulm. Frontier Labs has proposed improving a vacant building on Somsen Street in New Ulm’s Airport Industrial Park, and bringing at least 4 new jobs to the community, but representatives from New Ulm’s Minnesota Valley Testing Laboratories expressed concern about using tax dollars to help potential competitors become established in the community. New Ulm City Councilor Ruth Ann Webster explained that the competition would exist regardless of the council’s actions. New Ulm resident Brad Finstad is involved with bringing the Frontier Labs facility to the area, and told the council that the 2 companies would not be directly competing with each other. The council approved the tax abatement request following a public hearing with approximately 53 minutes of debate. It calls for the property taxes on the increased value of the property to be reimbursed to Frontier Labs for a maximum of 15 years, by no more than $4,100 per-year. The company will also be seeking tax abatement through Brown County. In other business Tuesday, the New Ulm City Council gave its final approval to the city’s budget and tax levy for 2013. Next year’s levy is a little more-than 4% increase over this year’s taxes. The council also approved proposed liquor license fee increases, and agreed to seek bids for the newly-revised Harman Park Shelter Renovation Project.