By Janet Huffman
---- — DEWITT — The DeWitt City Council has set a public hearing for 7 p.m. Jan. 20 regarding an agreement with Maschio Gaspardo North America, Inc.
Maschio Gaspardo has purchased the former Remington Seeds building at 112 Third Ave. East and is a manufacturer of small farm implements (not tractors). It plans to begin with 15 employees and continue to grow up to 100 employees. Ten years of increment tax rebates not to exceed $125,000 are part of the agreement. It turns out to be "a really good deal for the city," City Administrator Steve Lindner said.
An urban renewal plan amendment consultation brought out one county representative who asked if there were ending dates for the projects listed in the plan. Identified are the new urban renewal projects and updates of residential development projects (the Diamond Development also known as the Bush-Necker Addition), and the senior housing feasibility study. Besides the Maschio Gaspardo project, Brookline subdivision, the DeWitt Fitness Center improvements, and the Skeffington Memorial Trail extension and bridge replacement are also listed.
Lindner said there were no "sunset" clauses in the amendment. A public hearing for the amended plan is scheduled for the Jan. 20 council meeting.
The council approved renewing its membership in the US Highway 30 Coalition at a cost of $50. A Transportation Day at the Iowa Capitol is planned for Jan. 29 to meet with legislators, according to Edith Pfeffer, Coalition president.
An amendment to the agreement for professional services for easements with IIW Engineers of Dubuque on the 2013 Sixth Ave. improvements was approved. An additional easement at Lake Street and Sixth Avenue with Alliant Energy was acquired but none on the right-of-way was gained from the Union Pacific Railroad. The amendment adds $3,150 for the additional surveying work.
The council also approved the final reading of an ordinance amending the city's code relating to licensing and vaccination of animals as well as contributing $10 toward an employee's cost of participating in the Live Healthy Iowa program. Locally the program is known as Get Fit DeWitt.
The council reviewed the disorderly house amendment, which will come before the council at its next meeting. That meeting will be followed by a budget workshop.