OLIVIA — The Renville County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a tax abatement to assist the Central Region Cooperative with a project to expand grain storage and handling at its Buffalo Lake facility.

The commissioners approved a 15-year, or $240,519, tax abatement for the project with their vote Tuesday.

The abatement provides an estimated $16,000-per-year reduction in property taxes the cooperative pays the county each year. The cooperative currently pays $423,000 a year in property taxes, according to Nathan Gieske, cooperative manager.

Gieske said the cooperative is expanding grain storage by 1.6 million bushels as part of the project. It also involves improvements for truck traffic flow and increased rail loading capacity.

The project will move the entrance for arriving grain to the east side of the property. The change will help reduce the truck traffic on the Yellowstone Trail, the town’s main street.

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Gieske said the tax abatement was being sought due to a significant increase in costs for the project since it was originally approved by the county. He said the cooperative has invested $30 million in improvements in the last three years.

The abatement is effective for taxes payable in 2023, according to Marc Iverson, county auditor/treasurer.