The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 21, 2013

DeWitt certifies more TIF debt

By Jan Huffman Herald Correspondent
The Clinton Herald

---- — DEWITT — The city of DeWitt certified an additional $100,000 in its Tax Increment Financing debt at its Monday meeting, bringing the total certified to $1.6 million.

Previously TIF debt certification stood at $1.3 million from 2006 to 2009 and has been increased each year up to $1.5 million in 2012. The city’s financial advisor has advised the city to increase its debt certification to offset any future jump in payments that would negatively impact the school, county and city general funds.

The city takes only 28 percent of the total TIF dollars available and its TIF debt payment next year is an estimated $1.467 million. The increase in TIF dollars taken by the city should be offset by growth in the TIF district. Last year DeWitt had an increase of nearly $5.2 million in taxable valuation, and there is an estimated increase of nearly $2.5 million in TIF taxable value next fiscal year, according to Finance Director Deanna Rekemeyer.

The council also approved annual payments for TIF rebate agreements with a number of developers. The agreements specify an annual amount so that the entire amount of the agreement is not counted against the city’s debt limits.

The first authorization was a $50,000 annual payment for 2013-14 and $60,000 for 2014-15, with a maximum amount over 10 years of $255,000 for Hafner Brothers, LLC, to promote construction of single family homes. The value for Hafner increases every year.

An annual payment of $5,000 for 2014-15 fiscal year goes to the DeWitt Development Company. The payment is a result of additional taxes paid when the spec building property was reclassified industrial.

Custom Pak receives an estimated annual payment of $135,000 for 2013-14 and for 2014-15 with a maximum payout of $1.1 million. The TIF rebate agreement was an incentive for a 25,000 square foot expansion which doubled Custom Pak’s assessed value from about $3 million to $6 million.

A 2014-15 payment to Tiefenthaler Development, Inc., is estimated at $60,000 over 10 years with a maximum payout of $398,000. The TIF agreement promotes development of single family homes.

The last resolution passed for annual TIF payment approved $20,000 for 2014-15 for Black Cat Blades, a Canadian company. Total payment is $65,000 and provides an incentive to purchase and renovate a building in the city’s industrial park and add 40 jobs over a three-year period.

In addition, an internal advance estimated at $15,000 was approved from the general fund for legal and administrative costs for urban renewal projects. The advance will come from TIF revenues prior to June 1, 2015. A subsequent resolution approved the payment from TIF funds.

Rekemeyer presented the urban renewal report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013. This is a new state-required report which lists current TIF projects in DeWitt, as well as balances and what is collected in each TIF district. Current projects are defined by any project on which there remains debt and/or requires lists of job requirements attached to rebates, Rekemeyer said. She added there are five new debt issues this fiscal year.

The council passed a resolution allowing the city to make an internal loan for the Eighth Street reconstruction project. In particular the funds will pay for televising the sewer on Eighth and East Eighth streets to determine need for lining or replacing.

The council approved a street closure for the 1-mile Santa Run and Window Walk on Dec. 7, a change order in the amount of $542 for the 2012 11th Street resurfacing project increasing the contract with Horsfield Construction of Epworth to $1,295,164; a proposal from Kendrick Pest Control of Clinton for post beetle treatment at the hausbarn at a cost of $950; the resignation of police officer Tyler Ohnemus; a subordination of a mortgage for 303 10th St. as part of the city’s rehabilitation program; and the second reading of an amendment to the city’s code increasing the hotel/motel tax to 7 percent.

Elmwood Cemetery fees were increased to $575 for a regular grave opening, $350 for a small grave opening and $350 for cremain grave openings. The fee increases are based on contractor’s fees.

The council set Dec. 3 for a public hearing to discuss vacating portions of the 14th Avenue right of way within Necker’s Addition. The developers of the property (Brookline Subdivision) are seeking a tax credit for a project for senior housing of 48 units. Vacation of the ROW will improve chances for their application to be approved.

The council discussed budgeted repairs to Well 6 for which $40,000 is available and an update on the city’s late fees for animal licensing.