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Answer Man: New fire hall on track in Stewartville

Dear Answer Man, what's under construction on Stewartville's Main Street, not too far south of Sammy's and the Down Under?

That's the new Stewartville fire hall , at 418 S. Main St. The old one was knocked down in early June, and the fire trucks have been scattered around town since then while the new one is being built. Workers are putting up the block walls now, and things are on track, said city finance director Barb Neubauer. I called Barb this morning, and she said the report at last night's council meeting was that the project is on track for completion about Dec. 1.

Back to that envelope

Now that the Olmsted County Board has approved a $10 wheelage tax -- as I correctly predicted -- as well as the 0.25 percent county sales tax -- as I correctly predicted -- this is a fine moment to revisit my back-of-the-envelope guess for how much Destination Medical Center will cost the typical Olmsted County taxpayer.

My complicated and hard-to-replicate formula for estimating the effect of the county sales tax yielded $65 as the cost per typical adult resident, and then you can tack on $10 per vehicle registered in that person's name. So the county's annual tab for DMC would be about $75 per resident.


If the city goes ahead with some added hotel and hospitality-type sales taxes, I've estimated that'll cost the typical county adult another $35, roughly. So your total bill for DMC per year would be about $110.

No one has stepped forward to challenge or improve upon this calculation yet. Until then, you can take it to the bank.

This leaves aside the effect on state taxes, of course. The Legislature approved $327 million in state money for the project over 20 years or thereabouts. If you wanted to do a very crude calculation, you could say that amounts to another $61 per man, woman and child now living in Minnesota, though there will be more taxpayers as time goes on.

All this is just to say, there's no free lunch.


What would you do without the Answer Man? Send questions to P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903 or answerman@postbulletin.com.

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