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At their regular meeting Monday, October 7, the Mount Ayr city focused much of their discussion on potential economic development and infrastructure improvements.
Urban Renewal Area
The council passed a resolution formally establishing a new Industrial Park Urban Renewal Area, a move that could result in tax incremental financing (TIF) opportunities that would generate revenue for infrastructure improvements within the designated area.
The urban renewal area is located in the southeast corner of Mount Ayr in an area roughly bounded on the north at Highway 2, on the west at S. Fillmore Street, on the east at the airport, and on the south along the corporate city limits. The area also includes a section of land south of the golf course to 240th Street.
The area would include the new Casey’s General Store building and the proposed new concrete plant south of town.
By state statute, the city can designate urban renewal areas for a period of up to 20 years, during which time designated projects can qualify for TIF funding. Those funds can then be used for infrastructure improvements inside the urban renewal area.
City superintendent Brent Wise said potential improvement projects could include upgrades to the city airport, the extension of Cleveland Street south to the intersection with 240th Street, and storm water projects in the vicinity of the new co-op facility.
The council approved an internal advance of $6,500 to cover legal expenses associated with the designation of the new urban renewal area.
The council then authorized entering into a general obligation corporate purpose loan agreement for $2.5 million toward potential projects within the urban renewal area. The city is not committed to borrow any amount under the agreement, but the approval sets in place a funding source for future project.
The council approved a minor street improvement project affecting sections of E. Madison Street.
The council approved the lone bid from TEK Builders of Mount Ayr to resurface two sections of Madison Street at a cost of approximately $66,000.
To cover the bulk of the project, the city will use roughly $64,000 left over in its budget from a different street project that never got off the ground.
The project will replace an 85×24-foot section of concrete on the north side of Madison Street in front of the fire station and another section beginning at Lincoln Street running 275 feet to the west.
In other business the council:
• heard a request from Superintendent Wise to hire a televised inspection of sewer and storm sewer lines in the vicinity of Madison Street, Shellway Drive and Dunning Avenue. Apparently one resident in that area is having problems with water backing up in his basement drains, but the cause of the problem has so far not been found. It’s uncertain if the problem is the result of recent digging in the area or faulty storm sewer lines. Wise will research costs for the service and get approval to move forward from water utility council liaisons Brent Ricker and Ken Robertson.
• heard a report that the ownership of the vacant Shopko building has retained a second realtor in an effort to sell or lease the building. The council discussed what incentives the city could offer to potential buyers to entice them to establish a business in the building. Included in the discussion were possible arrangements for the use and/or sale of the city-owned parking lot at the site. Superintendent Wise said he would research what incentives would be available to the city and legalities associated with those incentives.