Stewartville is Hoping Money Talks

Posted at: 03/27/2013 8:04 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- In an effort to bring new construction and business to town, the city of Stewartville is hoping money talks. It's approved $200,000 dollars’ worth of cash incentives.
Like many small towns Stewartville has plenty of land just waiting to be developed.

"It's been down a little compared to 5 to 7 years ago," said Bruce Bucknell.

Bucknell owns a construction company he is just one of the business owners that has seen the impact of the down economy.

Les Radcliffe who also owns a construction company says right now they are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

"It's very refreshing to see some activity again, I'm getting a lot more calls that I was getting a year ago," said Radcliffe.

But more is needed to really get people to get their hands dirty and start building.

"I don't think we’re going to see construction like we did before, but if we could get a dozen houses built in Stewartville that would be a big improvement," said Bucknell.

"Growth is important to every community and I feel once a community stops growing they are dead on the vine," said EDA president Chris Stafford.

Stafford is the president of the Stewartville Economic Development Authority. He says the city has a plan to encourage more growth. The city approved to use $200,000 dollars of its Rochester city sales tax fund to offer cash incentives to anyone who either builds a new home in the area or a business. For a home the property owner would receive a $5,000 rebate and for a business a $7,500 rebate.

"We're trying to draw new construction to Stewartville, we feel were at a point economically and were in a position as a community that we can help enhance growth,” said Stafford.

Community members feel that growth wouldn't just help construction companies.

"The whole community benefits, with the tax base, with people heading into shops in town, and just in all, it has great benefits," said Radcliffe.

Bucknell says it's definitely a step in the right direction.

"With the incentive that's going to help ,how much I don't know, but every little bit helps," said Bucknell.

In order to qualify for the rebate a property owner must construct a building worth at least one hundred thousand dollars. The rebate will be paid once a certificate of occupancy has been issued.

The rebates will be available for either two years or until the $200,000 dollars runs out. From there they will decide if they want to continue with the program.

In all Stewartville will receive more than $600,000 dollars from the Rochester city sales tax.