WAITE PARK -- Final approvals needed to begin construction for a two-hotel and conference center were granted this (Monday) evening.

During the Waite Park city council meeting, the council approved a construction development agreement between the city and the developers. The agreement sets standards for the construction project and provides the city assurances the work will be completed per the approved plans.

Silver Leaf developers also requested an amendment to the TIF (tax increment financing) agreement for the project. Last year, the council approved a tax-increment financing proposal of $4.26 million up to 20 years with a 3% interest rate.

The developers asked the council to change the interest rate to from 3% to 4.5%, with no other changes to the original proposal of $4.26 million for up to 20 years, in order to provide more flexibility to sell the note to a bank for financial assistance.

After weighing both sides of the situation, the council did approve to amend the TIF agreement by a 3-2 vote.

Silver Leaf also requested Waite Park re-apply for a DEED grant to assist in funding the project.

Last year, the city authorized support for the grant twice and were unsuccessful stating DEED did not have any remaining funding. However, funding is again available and Silver Leaf would like to try again.

After further discussion the council unanimously approved the grant application.

With the final approvals, Waite Park City Administrator Shaunna Johnson says construction on the site is expected by September 1st.