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DL to annex F&W land on Tower Rd

The boundaries of Detroit Lakes are expanding once again.

The Community Development Committee recommended approval of the annexation of 86 acres north of North Tower Road. The annexation is unusual in that the land is tax-exempt.

"It hasn't been very often," Community Development Director Larry Remmen said of the frequency that that happens. "I could see a similar situation if there's a church on the edge of town that decides they want to be annexed to the city, but generally, that gets included in a larger annexation at a future date."

The land in question is the Fish and Wildlife Service property where the offices sit north of town. The entity requested the annexation to be hooked up to city sewer and water services.

According to state law, when a city annexes a portion of land, the city is required to pay the township a portion of the taxes the township will be losing from the annexation of the land.

"That is supposed to be between a two and an eight year period," Remmen said of the reimbursement. "And then you just try and figure out the percentage you would pay over that time period."

This case is unique in the sense that the property is government-owned and therefore there are no taxes being lost.

"Since this is a tax-exempt piece of property, it doesn't amount to anything," he said. "But, you have to have it in there anyway just because that's part of the requirement of the law."

So, the city and township have agreed to a five-year reimbursement at the rate of 100 percent, which equals nothing.

"In the final column, the amount is zero because this is a tax-exempt property."

The Bristlin property to the east of the Fish and Wildlife Property was previously annexed into the city. On the west side of the property is the ACS building and then residential property, and to the south of North Tower Road the land is already annexed in, where the city is working on an industrial park.

"We think it's great that we can work with the Fish and Wildlife Service to help them get what they need, and we're right there," Remmen said. "It's good to get that piece annexed so that when the next stage of annexation comes in that area, it's easier to do."

The proposed annexation is on the agenda for approval by the Detroit Lakes City Council Tuesday.