MANSON - A plan for growth in Manson is becoming reality.
The first two houses are going up along 19th Avenue, the town's newest street in what's called the Braginton Addition.
Randy Poutre, of Poutre's Construction, said the town has made the new lots attractive, both for builders and buyers.
"The tax incentive is intriguing," he said. "It's a $20,000 lot, but it's got a $5,000 rebate on it, if you build within 18 months. And then there's a five-year tax abatement on the property. Realistically, the city's pretty much giving the lots away when you figure the tax abatements."
That abatement means the property will be 100 percent tax-free for the first five years, said Mayor Dave George
Poutre is building in the lot farthest to the east on the new street, just before it dead-ends. Three lots west, the Manson Northwest Webster High School building trades class is putting up another house.
That house already has a buyer. In fact, the buyer has already designed the house, said MNW Superintendent Mark Egli.
George said Manson needed the new addition because it was running out of places to build.
"We need a new subdivision where we can build new houses. We don't have a lot of places currently for new construction," he said. "Many lots have been built on already."
The building trades program has run out of places to build in the older addition farther to the north, Egli said.
"We finished the Bradley Addition," he said. "We put four houses out there. That used up the last four lots."
The program has built more than 40 houses in the Manson area over the last 40 years, he said.
The street is sometimes called the Braginton Addition because Judge Arthur Braginton originally established the division in 1972, George said. Braginton decided to develop the addition and put in the water and sewer, but apparently stopped at that point.
The Manson Economic Development Corporation originally purchased the land from a private investor, before selling it to the city in the spring of 2012, said George.
"Neither one of them were in position to put in the street and finish all the infrastructure for that," he said. "So knowing the city needed some acres to build new homes, we purchased the land and put the improvements in ourselves."
The city finished putting in sewer, water and gas hookups to all the lots early this year. It also installed underground electric lines. The lots sit north of the golf course and across the street from the aquatic center, in what was once farmland.
"It's kind of beautiful here," Poutre said, looking across a cornfield at the distant wind turbines. "I really like it. It's quiet, and it's got a little bit of a country feel."
"It's close to the school," said George, "close to the aquatic center, the golf course, football field, baseball field, all of that stuff. It's a nice location."
"I think this will be huge for the town," Poutre said. "My wish is I could just keep building."
The house Poutre built is for sale through the Collmann Agency, of Manson. Currently the outside of the house is done, and all of the inside still needs to be built.
"I really would like to sell it without it being completely done, so they can pick out what they want for cupboards, you know, light fixtures, carpet, flooring and all that," he said.
George hopes the addition will encourage new people to move to Manson who are working in the new industrial ag park, Iowa's Crossroads of Global Innovation, located between Fort Dodge and Manson.
"I think this would be a great location for them," George said. " I think it only takes 10 minutes to get from Manson to Cargill."