FEDA OK Housing Development | News, Sports, Jobs


ABOVE: The Fairmont Economic Development Authority has approved an agreement to develop multiple semi-detached homes on open lots in Whitetail Ridge, just south of Fairmont football fields.

FAIRMONT — On Monday, the Fairmont Economic Development Authority accepted a tentative agreement from the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, a nonprofit organization focused on affordable housing, for the development of several residential lots in Whitetail Ridge.

Whitetail Ridge began as a community effort between the City of Fairmont and Fairmont Area Schools. The district had owned the 14-acre property since 1964, but sold it to the city for $1. When the land was sold it was valued at around $200,000.

The housing development began with 20 lots, and for each lot sold, the school district received $10,000 that it would use for high school vocational training programs.

Initially lots were sold but in recent years the remaining lots hadn’t attracted much interest.

“We know we need homes and if we had homes we were confident that people would buy them. It’s stimulating to look at a bare lot and have to start over.” said City Manager Cathy Reynolds.

FEDA issued a call for proposals for the development of eight properties at the intersection of Belle Vue Road and Redbird Lane earlier this year. FEDA did not accept the first proposal received, but after that the board was contacted by the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership.

The proposal calls for converting the eight lots into ten lots and building five semi-detached houses occupied by single-family homes. Planned are three twin houses with walk-in basements on Belle Vue Road and two twin houses on Redbird Lane which will be on the level.

Bruce Peters asked how they could enforce self-use. Reynolds said she thinks there is enough demand for owners.

Regarding the agreement between the city and the school district, Reynolds said that $80,000 will be given to the school district for the sale of the eight lots and $8,000 will be returned to the city when the house is sold.

“We will not lose money to subsidize this outside of school,” She said.

A public open house will be held on October 3, where citizens can view and comment on drafts and layouts. The aim is to start with a home in the fall if possible.

In other news,

— The board approved sending a letter of support for the Five Lakes Cooperative.

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