Lyon County Board approves tax abatement request for housing business

MARSHALL – Members of the Lyon County Board lent their support, in the form of a tax abatement, to a modular housing business looking at moving to Cottonwood. At their regular meeting Tuesday, county commissioners approved a request for a three-year tax abatement for the business, pending approval by the Lyon County attorney.

C. David Hoefer of Goshen, Ind., presented commissioners with the abatement request. Hoefer said the modular home business, which as of yet does not have a legal name, is looking at moving into the former Hydroswing property in Cottonwood. Hoefer said the business was seeking a tax abatement during a period of planned growth. Hoefer said that plan included bringing about 40 production jobs to Cottonwood, increasing over the next five years.

The housing produced by the business would be constructed from structural insulated panels, Hoefer said. The panels are made from a core of rigid foam sheathed in layers of plywood. Houses or light commercial buildings made with the panels are water-resistant and can stand up to a direct wind moving at 200 miles per hour, he said.

“Our goal is to do it better than stick-built,” Hoefer said.

Hoefer said he had considered business markets in five states and narrowed the search to South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota. The area would give the business access to housing markets in Williston, N.D., he said.

Hoefer said he was approaching Lyon County, the city of Cottonwood and the Lakeview School District to request a tax abatement for the business. The city of Cottonwood had already approved an abatement. Lyon County Assessor Dean Champine said the county portion of the abatement would come to a total of about $16,000, over a period of three years.

Commissioner Rodney Stensrud asked if Hoefer’s business would be competing with existing Cottonwood businesses.

“I’m concerned that the businesses in town are working in conjunction with you, rather than fighting,” Stensrud said.

Hoefer said he had spoken with Extreme Panel Technologies and Norcraft in Cottonwood about being local suppliers for the business. However, he said they would not be his sole suppliers.

Commissioners voted to approve a motion to grant the tax abatement, pending review by the county attorney.

In other business Tuesday, board members discussed a request concerning drainage tile on Branch 8 of County Ditch 60B. County ditch inspector Todd Hammer said about 2,000 feet of 12-inch tile was replaced on that branch of the ditch in November. However, a landowner affected by the project asked for more tile to be replaced because of issues with silt in the tile line.

Hammer said there were some potential concerns for the county in meeting that request. There were issues with farming practices on that land, including farming over tile intakes or having tile intakes without covers, he said. Hammer said there was also the question of whether replacing the tile would really improve drainage. The line is old and possibly too small to fully fix the problem.

Commissioners said they thought damage to the tile intakes caused by farming practices should be the landowner’s responsibility to replace.

Commissioner Charlie Sanow moved that the tile line intakes be fixed, to see if that reduces the silt. If the damage to the intakes looks like it was caused by improper farming practices, Sanow said, it should be billed to the landowner.

The board voted in favor of that motion.