The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

March 18, 2013

City Council to OK incentives Tuesday

Will discuss RAIL.ONE and Data Dimensions plans

By Scott Levine
Associate Editor

CLINTON — A special City Council meeting this week will showcase several measures revealing support for a prospective tenant of the Lincolnway Railport.

Clinton City Council members will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall to approve financial incentives for RAIL.ONE, a business that recently announced its intention to locate at the railport. A German rail tie manufacturer, RAIL.ONE is expected to make an initial investment of $20 million, and will make an annual economic impact of $15.2 million, according to the Clinton Regional Development Corporation.

The company will bring 60 direct jobs and will result in another 40 indirect jobs.

Committee of the Whole members last week moved forward an incentive package that would provide a 100 percent Tax Increment Finance rebate not to exceed $2 million for 10 years. The city also will construct a road from 44th Avenue South to RAIL.ONE’s property for its industrial traffic and future railport tenants.

The road is estimated to cost $400,000, for which the city could apply for a Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy grant or use TIF funds to finance.

Council members also will discuss a railpark urban renewal area and plan in order to be able to offer the TIF funding. Also, the city will provide a required local match of an annual TIF rebate of up to $200,000 annually for up to 10 years if the state grants the business with Iowa Economic Development Authority Enterprise Zone incentives.

Along with incentives for RAIL.ONE, Council members will seek approval to hiring the firm of Frey, Haufe and Current P.L.C. to negotiate the sale of the property to RAIL.ONE.

During the Committee of the Whole meeting last week, Interim City Administrator Jessica Kinser said the outside counsel is needed because of the current workload of city Attorney Jeff Farwell, and the limited timeline available to complete the transaction with RAIL.ONE.

RAIL.ONE will work in conjunction with Utah-based wooden rail tie recycler Nevada Rail Materials at the park. NRM will bring 35 jobs, but has not requested any incentives. City Council members also will seek to approve an application to the state for Data Dimensions to receive benefits of the Enterprise Zone Program. If the application was approved by the state, the city would need to provide a local match in the amount of $1.91 million in property tax abatements over a 10-year period.

Also included in the meeting will be a resolution approving Matt Prescott as manager of the city marina.