Austin City Council approves financing and development agreement for 1st and 3rd Apartments project at Monday meeting

The Austin City Council unanimously approved a financing and development agreement for the 1st and 3rd Apartments project at their regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening.  

Three Rivers Community Action, Inc. will be constructing the $16+ million, 40-unit complex on land owned by the Austin HRA just east of the Post Office.  Director of Administrative Services Tom Dankert stated to the council that commitments from the city for the project will include a $615,000 loan at 1%, with funding set aside in the Building Fund, a $300,000 grant, with funding again set aside in the Building Fund, a $540,000 grant, with proceeds from the decertified TIF District #11 CRC and a law change that allows excess TIF funds to be used for affordable housing, $75,000 in funding to realign the existing storm water drainage during the project, and an additional $20,000 in legal and finance advisory fees to set up the TIF District and agreements.  Dankert went on to state that additional contributions for the project will include a $600,000 grant from the Hormel Foundation, a $250,000 grant from Mower County, and the land to be provided by the Austin HRA.

Officials with Three Rivers Community Action, Inc. are hoping to close on the agreement the week of July 17th, with groundbreaking ceremonies to be held before the end of this month.

In other business at their meeting Monday evening, the Austin City Council approved a labor contract with the Austin Associates Organization, or AAO, for the years 2023 to 2025, and the council also approved a two-year maintenance agreement with MnDOT for Highway 105.  As part of this agreement, Public Works Director Steven Lang stated to the council that the city provides routine maintenance to the roadway mainly involving snow plowing, sanding and minor patching.  In return, Lang stated that MnDOT reimburses the city a lump sum annually, which will increase 4.5% each year of the agreement.  And, in other business, the Austin City Council approved a flood hazard mitigation grant totaling $4 million toward the city’s $8 million wastewater treatment plant levee project.  Lang stated that the remaining 50% of the project cost will be funded using the local option sales tax.  

The next regularly scheduled meeting for the Austin City Council will be held on Monday, July 17th at 5:30 p.m. at the Austin City Council chambers.