The Finney County Commission on Monday agreed to enter into a memorandum of understanding regarding a 10-year, 20-percent tax abatement for a new agricultural business set to bring 15 jobs to Finney County over its first two years.

Livestock Nutrition Center, LLC, a livestock feed company currently located in five states, requested the tax abatement. The Garden City location at 3680 Jones Ave., an old feed mill that has been shut down for over a year, will mark the company’s second location in the state and only one in western Kansas.

Lona DuVall, president and CEO of the Finney County Economic Development Corp., said the new company could be beneficial for local farmers and cattle feed yards alike.

“Anything that we can do to add additional value to the grain crops that our farmers are growing here is going to be a good thing," she said after Monday's commission meeting. "The more opportunities we have to enhance the feed quality, the better it’s going to be for everybody involved."

A cost-benefit analysis determined that the center qualifies for a 20 percent tax abatement for 10 years.

The company bought and invested more than $2 million in renovations into the mill over the past several months, increasing the building's value, DuVall said. A 20 percent tax abatement would mean LNC will still pay property taxes on the original valuation of the location in full, plus only 80 percent of the additional value brought on by the renovations, she said.

In today’s money, the total abatement over 10 years would equal more than $120,000, with about $64,000 coming from Finney County and about $28,000 each from USD 457 and GCCC, DuVall said.

Representatives from the Finney County Commission, Garden City USD 457, Garden City Community College and the FCEDC met as the Tax Abatement Review Committee to review the request in January and were supportive of the terms of the abatement, DuVall said.

Commissioners were quick to enter into the MOU, setting the terms of the abatement. Once renovations are completed, the county appraiser will assess the new value and submit the information to the board of tax appeals. The abatement will then go before the county commission once again for approval following a yet-to-be-scheduled public hearing.

“I attended that meeting … and they were all very much in favor of this, so I will make a motion to let (Commission Chair Bill Clifford) sign the MOU,” Commissioner Larry Jones told his fellow commissioners.

Within the next 30 to 60 days, LNC's doors will officially open, said Location Manager Blake Williams.

In other business, the commission approved modifications to county zoning regulations regarding commercial vehicles parking in residential areas. Prior to the approval, the code prohibited commercial vehicles weighing more than 16,000 pounds of exceeding 9 feet wide by 13 feet high by 21 feet long.

Allowing large vehicles, like semi rigs and trailers, to park in residential areas can wear down roads, block drainage, limit parking for smaller vehicles, and be a source for noisy repairs or odors, said Neighborhood and Development Services Director Kaleb Kentner. But allowing owners to park their trucks near their homes also provides better security of the truck, he said. It was a oft-heard reason some owners moved to rural properties in the county or out of the county entirely, he said.

The commission ultimately altered regulations to allow for commercial vehicle parking with a conditional use permit. The permit, when approved for a certain property, would allow a resident to park one truck and one trailer within the zoning district as long as the truck is not parked within 200 feet of another residence. Minor maintenance may be performed on site during the day, all waste materials must be removed within 72 hours and no outside storage of parts, materials or tires will be permitted.

The new regulation will take effect after it is published in The Telegram Thursday.


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