The Austin Area Chamber of Commerce and KAUS hosted a series of Meet the Candidates forums at our studios last week, and incumbent Tim Gabirelson and challenger Tim Duren, the two candidates for the District 1 seat on the Mower County Board of Commissioners took part in one of the forums and answered a variety of questions on such issues as the county’s infrastructure needs, helping businesses in Mower County financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic and expanding high-speed broadband service in the county.  Tim Gabrielson was asked to give his thoughts about how the county’s five-year tax abatement program has performed…

The program, which was first started by the city of Austin in 2016 enables any new single or multi-family housing built in the county to receive a five-year tax abatement, pending approval, which eliminates property taxes during those five years. The Austin Public School District is also a part of the program.  Tim Duren, who is running a write-in campaign was asked how he would work with other board members to keep taxes down if the state of Minnesota unallots county program aid because of a nearly $5 billion budget shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic….

The entire forum with the District 1 candidates, along with forums for the candidates in District 2 for the Mower County Board of Commissioners, Mayor of the city of Austin, Ward 1 for the Austin City Council, State Representative for District 27B and Senator from District 27 can all be found on our website at myaustinminnesota.com.