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Forum News Service, Published December 17 2013

Spiritwood Township building fee cap would affect proposed fertilizer plant

SPIRITWOOD, N.D. - Spiritwood Township set a $250,000 cap for building permits at a special meeting Monday.

The cap will have the most immediate effect on a planned CHS nitrogen fertilizer plant. The township’s standard fee structure would have set the cost of a building permit for the plant at about $1 million based on building construction costs of about $1 billion and a total project cost of $1.5 billion.

The CHS plant would be the largest private construction project in North Dakota. CHS officials have indicated a final decision is planned for early 2014. Once operational, the plant would employ 150 to 175 people.

The board of supervisors called the meeting after receiving a letter from Brian Schouvieller, senior vice president of CHS, that said the company would not request a full tax exemption but would focus on a partial exemption over an extended period. The letter requested the building permit fee be lowered to about $100,000.

The vote to cap the building fee was 4-1. The cap applies to all future projects that agree not to apply for a full tax exemption. It also limits the fee to $10 for any project up to $250,000. The previous fee schedule charged $1 per $1,000 of construction costs.