GrandStay Hotel project approaches county board; County engineer re-appointed

Published 8:03 am Thursday, April 4, 2019

A hotel development and the reappointment of a county official were part of the Mower County Board’s agenda on Tuesday afternoon.

Officials were approached by Craig Hoium of Apollo Development regarding the proposed 56-unit GrandStay Hotel project in downtown Austin on Fourth Avenue near the Tendermaid. Hoium expressed that the four-story hotel would compliment the new rec center and hockey arenas, as well as the Spam Museum.

Hoium approached the city as well as Austin Public Schools before coming to the Mower County Board in order to inform the three entities about the project and the eventual request for a tax abatement.

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“My sole purpose is for you to be aware,” he said. “We will eventually be asking for a tax abatement. Right now we’re not looking for you to act on it, yet. We need to give you more information.”

To get a tax abatement, GrandStay Hospitality, LLC must get approval from all three taxing entities and host public hearings on the requests. Once the go-ahead is given, the company aims to start construction in late spring or early summer.

County engineer re-appointed

Mower County Engineer Mike Hanson was re-appointed to his position during the county board session.

Hanson has been with the county since Feb. 23, 1998, and has displayed leadership in developing alternative ways of funding infrastructure repairs despite transportation budget shortfalls at the state level.

His insight led to the recommendation and adoption of the county wheelage tax and a local option sales tax (LOST). As a result, Mower County generates about $370,000 annually from the wheelage tax and $1.5 million from LOST.

Harren also noted that Mower County  made a decision in 2018 to advance encumber sales tax dollars to address the deteriorating conditions of roads and reconstructing 41 miles of road. Forty-two more miles are scheduled for this year.

“It is for these reasons and more that it is my privilege to recommend reappointment of Michal Hanson as Mower County engineer,” she added.