COLD SPRING -- The parking lot at ROCORI High School in Cold Spring is in need of major repairs.  On Monday night the school board held a public hearing for a property tax abatement, which will allow the district to raise property owner's taxes to pay for improvements.  The board approved a nearly $800,000 abatement.

Superintendent Brad Kelvington says a home valued at $200,000 will see a property tax increase of $9 a year for 15 years starting in 2020.

The design process will now begin with the goal of making the parking lot more user-friendly.  Construction is expected next summer.

Since 1997 the state of Minnesota has allowed local governments to issue abatement bonds for projects like this without having to get voter approval.

In a separate project, the ROCORI school district is planned to spend up to $3.7 million in their Longterm Facilities Maintenance plan to fix the roofs and HVAC systems.  Kelvington says this project will not have a tax impact for residents because they will bond for it using state aid proceeds.  The roof and HVAC repairs are expected to be done by 2022.