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County supports Big M redevelopment

May 18, 2022

Commission approves tax break for developer

Ward County commissioners rejected Tax Increment Financing for the developer of Minot’s downtown Big M building Tuesday.

Instead, the commission approved an eight-year property-tax abatement for EPIC Companies that carries just over half the tax concession of a proposed TIF with the City of Minot. The tax break is estimated at roughly $250,000. The city and county will be crunching numbers to determine an accurate figure.

Todd Berning, president of EPIC, welcomed the commission’s decision.

“Eight years was nice. It’s definitely going to be a big help, and hopefully we move forward and get rolling. We’re ready to go,” he said after the commission’s action.

It likely will be the end of June before the public sees physical construction occurring at the building, but construction activity will be happening behind the scenes, he said. Work should begin soon to prepare the building for internal demolition and asbestos abatement, he said.

The city had proposed borrowing $2.7 million to go toward asbestos abatement and demolition. Through the economic development tool known as TIF, 90% of tax collections from EPIC on improvements to the building would go to pay the debt over 20 years. Without the county’s participation, the amount of assistance would have to be reduced to $2.25 million.

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