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Published January 12, 2012, 02:04 PM

Financial burden of undeveloped land could fall onto the backs of taxpayers

Glyndon, Minn. (WDAY TV) - Tough economic times have taken their toll on developers in Glyndon and they're not the ones who will be feeling the immediate impact: Taxpayers will.

Glyndon, Minn. (WDAY TV) - Tough economic times have taken their toll on developers in Glyndon and they're not the ones who will be feeling the immediate impact: Taxpayers will.

After the city of Glyndon agreed to install infrastructure a few years ago, lots at the Stockwood Business Park remain undeveloped. Now the financial burden could be falling onto the backs of the people of Glyndon.

In total, Glyndon will see a property tax hike of 9 percent for the city portion. Much of that comes from acts by the Minnesota Legislature and a decrease in local government aid, but a substantial chunk comes from the Stockwood Business Park.

Ken Norman – Glyndon City Attorney: “I won't call it a perfect storm, but it was a storm, so you have all these things coming into play at the same time, the city was forced to raise their taxes.”

Glyndon City Attorney Ken Norman says infrastructure for the business park was built in 2007 at a cost of $1.4 million. The bond repayment was deferred for three years, but the developer is now in default. More than $130,000 is owed this year alone. That money will be divided among the approximately 400 properties in Glyndon that pay taxes.

Ken Norman: “The Public knows that the city in terms of it's professional staff as well as the city council is working diligently to reduce these problems.”

Norman says the developer at Stockwood continues to market the space and with an economy on the upswing, lots will hopefully sell and tax payers will be repaid...sort of.

Ken Norman: “Yeah, if the money is paid in then the city has that more money to work with, so when they go to assess their taxes, they don't have to assess as much. The other good news is they have other bond obligations that will be paid up in the near future that offsets some of this.”

If the developers default completely, Norman says the property will be turned over to the city. One of the two developers died recently on December 29th. A message left for their attorney went unreturned.

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