SEDA looks at housing incentives
The Staples Economic Development Authority (SEDA) looked at possible incentive packages to get more homes built in Staples, but found they are already doing many of the common incentives that other cities do.
Economic Development Director Melissa Radermacher said many cities waive annual fees for the first few years after new homes are built, but Staples doesn’t charge many of the fees that are typically waived, such as park dedication fees, water tower fees and special assessments. Radermacher said the city could implement some of the fees without raising taxes by designating a portion of the city portion of the taxes as special fees, then using that as part of a package for potential home builders.
The SEDA looked at a map of city owned lots in Staples. City Administrator Jerel Nelsen said several city owned lots that are available for building new. He also indicated two possible locations for home lots, one where the south side skating has been and another north of Prairie Ave. NE along 6th Street NE. There are also lots being offered by realtors.
The SEDA talked about incentives to get the city lots sold. SEDA board member Chris Etzler said they might consider minimum standards for houses that could be built on the lots. He pointed out that for higher-end houses, the kind that are lacking in Staples according to the recent housing study, the lot price won’t make as much of a difference compared to the cost of the house.
The SEDA explored tax abatement incentives. Nelsen said that Wadena County put a tax abatement policy in place to help people rebuild after their tornado and suggested the policy could also be used in Staples. He said Todd County’s abatement policy does not include residential homes. Other ideas discussed included Staples Community Center passes for new home buyers, or to ask interested local services if they could add incentives, such as The Vintage golf course, communications companies and sanitation.
Radermacher said she would get ahold of local realtors and put together a package for the SEDA to consider. She talked about adding incentives for remodeling and redevelopment of homes.