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Hartford Dev. Plan Moves Forward

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The Minnehaha County Commission has OK’d an $84 million development plan near the city of Hartford. But not everyone is excited. The plan comes with many obstacles the city will have to overcome.

Thirty acres of field on the corner of 285th Street and Western Avenue near Hartford will soon look a lot different.

“This is an $84 million dollar development, so if there is anyway Minnehaha County can try to find a way to make this work, we will try to find a way to make this work,” said Minnehaha County Commissioner John Pekas.

One hundred and forty-five town homes and 12 twin homes will be built in a development called The Meadows. But for a town of just over 2,500, you would think Hartford would be excited about the opportunity to grow, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

 “I think the city had concerns because in the long run, this will probably be in Hartford, and so it's a lot easier if you have a development that already matches how your city is,” said Pam Herman, Minnehaha County Planning and Zoning.

Initially the developer of The Meadows showed Hartford city leaders the development plans. But city leaders said wait just a minute. Turns out many of the plans didn’t follow Hartford’s city ordinances. Also many of the infrastructure plans, like sewers and roads, weren’t the same as the city has now. So Hartford un-annexed the land, giving it back to Minnehaha County. The developer then went to the county to ask for help.

“It allowed them to go forward with their plan as they wanted to and not have to abide by some of the standards that Hartford had,” Herman said.

So on Tuesday Minnehaha County Commissioners agreed with developers and voted three to two to move forward with development plans. Making city leaders upset, and county commissioners shocked at the city’s unwillingness to want to grow.
“ I can't believe that we have a community that is creating potential barriers, to try and have this development take place. When they should be falling over backwards to try to accommodate it,” said Pekas.

Seventy cents out of every dollar in property taxes will go into the Hartford school system. It’s an estimated $400,000 a year.

Plans are to break ground sometime in May.
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