July 9, 2009

Westridge incentive package for lots set

By Brenda L. Shelkey

Developing an incentive package for the Westridge Addition lots has been on the back burner for Underwood commissioners. That all changed at the July 6 meeting when a bid from local residents looking to build a new home in Underwood was received by City Auditor Diane Schell. The bid brought other considerations to the board for commissioners. Mayor Rick Olson met Tuesday, June 30, with UAEDA Director Becky Bowen and guest speakers and interested parties from Horizons, Renaissance Zone, the North Dakota Tax Department, Community Works North Dakota, and DreamWorks through the Lutheran Social Services Housing. From that meeting, Olson learned that it might be in the best interest of Underwood to have the Renaissance Committee rezone three blocks including a portion of Westridge Estates. He said, "We don’t have anything put together, but the general consensus is to make that into the Renaissance Zone. We would have to instruct the Renaissance Committee to include three more blocks in the Renaissance Zone." He told commissioners that Bowen will be visiting with more people about options available that could get houses going in out at Westridge or in town. He said, "Becky and economic development are working on some kind of project for that area." Schell explained that the group talked about selling the first 10 lots for one dollar. She said, "We can’t give the lots away. The lot has to have some value." However, they also agreed that the cost of the specials would still need to be paid. The group suggested leaving the specials the way they are. Olson went on to explain that economic development is going to do some advertising. He said, "There are some tax incentives out there for five years."



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