Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - It doesn’t look like there will be a new property tax levy in Olmsted County anytime soon.  

The County Board has been considering a proposal to adopt a new levy to provide more funds for the Housing and Redevelopment Authority as a way to deal with the growing demand for affordable housing. The board was told this would leverage more state and federal funds for local housing programs.

At a recent meeting, some board members suggested using the existing general levy for new housing programs but they were told Tuesday that is not allowed under state law. While the entire board expressed support for more funding for housing programs, some members are concerned about not having complete oversight over how the money is used. The current HRA consists of a county commissioner, Rochester City Council President Randy Staver and five non-elected officials.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the board directed staff to further research  the legality of using the general levy for housing programs. Staff was also told to look into a proposal that would allow the county board to become the acting HRA. The issue is expected to be revisited later this year.

The County Board Tuesday did approve a $1.3 million contract for an architectural and engineering design of the planned phase 2 expansion of the Government Center. Phase 2 calls for a two story addition that would be built on top of the Law Enforcement Center to accommodate a future expansion of the district court.

When the design work is finished, the board will have to decide how much actual construction will take place and when. One proposal calls for shelling the two new floors with minimal interior construction.

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