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Crookston City Council approves sales tax increase for new arena

The Crookston City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to pass a half-cent sales tax raise to support funding for a $10 million hockey arena. But construction can't start just yet, "We've still got a ways to go," said Aaron Parrish, Crookston...

The Crookston City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to pass a half-cent sales tax raise to support funding for a $10 million hockey arena.

But construction can't start just yet,

"We've still got a ways to go," said Aaron Parrish, Crookston city administrator.

The next step is to get authorization by the Minnesota State Legislature, according to Parrish. And the final step is voter approval in November.

Pending the results of those steps, construction is set to begin in summer 2008. Funds gained from the sales tax increase will provide about $1.7 million dollars for the project.

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The sales tax, however, will be used until it reaches $5 million to account for other funding that may fall short.

Other funding sources are $400,000 in private funding, $6 million from the 2008 state bonding bill under the Department of Natural Resources flood grant program and $2 million borrowed from Crookston's flood fund.

Other news

The council also voted Tuesday to approve costs expected in a project to link Crookston, Grand Forks and East Grand Forks police and fire departments through a radio system. Radio equipment costs in Crookston alone will be about $180,000, according to Parrish.

The radio communication system will link the police and fire departments of the three cities. The project started after the Grand Forks County Sheriff's Department received a federal grant.

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