KTRF / North Country News
Thursday July 19th 2012
It was a standing room only crowd that filled two parking lots and spilled into the hall this week as the Thief River Falls City Council passed a resolution to approve another Tax Increment Financing District in the City, this one to support development of an apartment complex on South Pennington.
The motion – which passed unanimously – was offered by Alderman Joseph Haj, who said the council reviewed other options, but that the site offered the least cost to the City to address a critical housing need.
There were those who spoke against the project Tuesday night, objecting to the Tax Increment concept, the number of Districts already established in Thief River Falls and the site itself, where safety and high traffic continues to be a concern.
However, approval of the TIF District was also met by a solid round of applause, from employers and education officials who continue to urge the City Council to do everything they can to address the lack of affordable housing, affecting the ability to recruit workers and students.
The vote clears the way for Northridge Hospitality Management to move ahead with the project; two, thirty unit apartment buildings – Rocksbury Apartments – on South Pennington. Establishing the TIF District will allow developers to finance infrastructure through a reimbursement of a portion of their property taxes.