St. Paul wins forgiveness of Xcel arena loan

Elsewhere, Maplewood won a TIF district for 3M but the fate of two schools remained unresolved for now.

hide

Xcel Energy Center

 

St. Paul may not have received state bonding for projects this session, but it did claim a legislative victory it’s been chasing for years: the state will forgive most of the remaining $32.7 million it loaned the city to build Xcel Energy Center.

That doesn’t mean that the Minnesota Wild will stop paying rent to St. Paul for use of the arena, money the city used to pay down the loan to the state.

What it does means is that the money now will go toward renovating the arena, a project Wild and Xcel Center spokeswoman Kathy O’Connor said is overdue. “It’s the right time for an update,” she said.

In 1998, the state made a $65 million interest-free loan toward construction of the $130 million arena, $17 million of which was forgiven when the team agreed to allow amateur and public events. That left a loan of $48 million.

Under the terms of the forgiveness deal in this year’s omnibus jobs, housing and commerce bill, St. Paul’s annual loan payment will be reduced by $500,000 in 2014 and again in 2015. The balance of the loan will be forgiven in 2016. The city still owes $56.8 million in bonds on the arena, of the $72.7 million it borrowed in 1998.

The Wild and the city will jointly decide how to use the loan windfall for arena improvements, O’Connor said. High on the team’s list: seat replacements, widening of concourses, expanding entrances and upgrading scoreboards for the digital era, she said, “All things we feel are important to keeping the arena relevant.”

She added that there are no plans to use the money for a nearby practice facility that the team has long desired.

As a tit-for-tat of sorts, the state gave Minneapolis about $33 million over several years to help pay off debt on the downtown library, a last-minute addition to the tax bill intended to right the balance with St. Paul.

“The state stepped up and helped out the Xcel Center this year because that’s a statewide asset. It just happens to be located in the city of St. Paul,” said Rep. Jim Davnie, DFL-Minneapolis. “The downtown library is a statewide asset that just happens to be located in the city of Minneapolis.”

No local projects were included in the bonding bill, including $14 million that St. Paul had sought for a planned $28 million expansion of the Minnesota Children’s Museum. Dianne Krizan, the museum’s president, said they will continue with private fund­raising and return to the Legislature next year.

But Joe Campbell, a spokesman for Mayor Chris Coleman, said that St. Paul got a $10.1 million hike in state aid, over and above the $50.3 million it received this year. “This will help us close what could be a gap in city services … and go a long way toward stabilizing property taxes,” he said.

TIF district for 3M

Maplewood won approval in the tax bill for a tax-increment financing (TIF) district for a 412,000-square-foot research and development lab building planned by 3M Co.

City Manager Jim Antonen said the TIF district was “essential for the retention of 3M jobs, not only in Maplewood, but in Minnesota.” The $150 million project will replace two older buildings. “I think it’s a recognition of the importance of 3M’s investment,” said Jacqueline Berry, a company spokeswoman.

The lab building, to be built on the corporate campus near McKnight Road and Conway Avenue, will house 700 current 3M employees. The TIF district would cover just the lab site, Antonen said, and remain for 25 years.

TIF districts are a financing mechanism to spread out the increased cost of property taxes created by the higher value of new construction over a longer period of time.

The city will have only a modest direct cost as a result of creating the TIF district, he added, while ensuring that 3M doesn’t look elsewhere.

The company’s property in Maplewood is assessed at $210 million and accounts for 12 percent of the city’s tax base.

East Metro schools

The fate of two multi-district integration schools, Harambee Elementary in Maplewood and Crosswinds Arts and Science School in Woodbury, was tossed into question after lawmakers failed to back plans turning over the buildings to the Roseville Area Schools and Perpich Center for Arts Education, respectively.

But initial fears that both buildings could be mothballed for a year by the East Metro Integration District (EMID) began to ease a bit Tuesday, at least for Harambee.

EMID Superintendent Janet Mohr said that she had been in discussions with the Roseville district and that the two sides were “confident that we can come up with some kind of solution” to keep Harambee running in 2013-14.

Keeping Crosswinds alive, however, is a tougher proposition, given the South Washington County School District also covets the building.

Staff writers Jim Anderson, Anthony Lonetree and Eric Roper contributed to this story.

Kevin Duchschere • 651-925-5035

 

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:07 PM
San Francisco - T. Hudson
San Diego 21 FINAL
Denver 35
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Dallas 6:00 PM
Orlando
New York 6:30 PM
Toronto
San Antonio 7:00 PM
Houston
Miami 7:00 PM
Memphis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Chicago
Phoenix 8:00 PM
Utah
Sacramento 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
Denver 9:30 PM
Golden State
Portland 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Dallas 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Colorado
Carolina 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Columbus 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Houston 7:00 PM
Chicago
Montreal 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close