The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

January 23, 2014

No urban renewal plan means 'economic suicide'

CLINTON — While the city continues to contemplate the urban renewal plan regarding the rail park west of town, Clinton's planning committee discussed details in the 17-page document Wednesday that may have been overlooked when it was discussed by council members more than a week ago.

The Lincolnway Industrial Rail and Air Park Urban Renewal plan has gone through several revisions since it was first conceived in 2006. Part of those revisions have pertained to changes to Clinton that have taken place over the last eight years. Now, one important state-wide update has forced the plan back in front of city leaders.

"Any urban renewal planning and any use of tax increment financing changed for the state of Iowa," said City Administrator Jessica Kinser before seven committee members. "It stated that you cannot use tax increment financing for any specific project unless it is stated in an urban renewal plan."

Cities establish urban renewal plans so that outside businesses looking to locate within a municipality will have a glimpse at what the city has to offer. In Clinton's case, the rail park has 259 acres of city-owned property and 212 acres of property owned by the Clinton Regional Development Corporation to showcase. Forty-six acres were already purchased by two outside companies: RAIL.ONE and Nevada Railroad Materials. Development agreements with both businesses are in the process of being finalized.

Tax increment financing (or TIF) is a mechanism that dedicates increments of tax revenue within certain districts. This mechanism allows cities and developers to finance debt that pays for a given project.

Ever since Iowa Legislators reexamined the tax increment financing code, city's wishing to enter economic development deals such as those involving the Clinton, RAIL.ONE and NRM need to specify their intents to utilize TIF within an urban renewal area. In the case of the latest Urban Renewal Plan draft, Kinser said six public improvement plans not to exceed $25 million were also specified, although the city hasn't committed any dollars toward financing those projects.

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  • John Hood A year after 'chaos'

    It happened two hours after John Hood finished his run. Like many, he thought the loud boom was just the sound of cannons going off, something that shook the ground. It was odd, but Hood — a 1989 Clinton High School graduate — tried to make it logical, associating the noise with another good happening at the Boston Marathon.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clinton looks into roadway safety upgrades Herald Staff Report Clinton looks into roadway safety upgrades

    April 19, 2014

  • Theft trial for man charged in Wolfe sisters' murders

    A western Pennsylvania man accused of having robbed and killed his next-door neighbors, two sisters of Iowa Rep. Mary Wolfe, now also faces trial on charges that he stole another woman's wedding ring a year ago.

    State police in Greensburg allege that 43-year-old Allen Wade of East Liberty, Pa., stole the ring while delivering a refrigerator to a home in April 2013. Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge Rita Hathaway on Thursday agreed to schedule the case for trial.

    April 18, 2014

  • More felonies added to sex abuse charges CLINTON -- A Clinton man already facing multiple felony charges for allegedly sexually abusing a child is now facing six more felonies for sexual exploitation of a child. Tony D. James, 45, was charged this past weekend with six counts of sexual expl

    April 18, 2014

  • Wildlife service to conduct burnings CLINTON -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct several prescribed burns this spring. The burns will take place on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Carroll and Jo Daviess counties. Sites planned for burning

    April 18, 2014

  • Women jailed on meth charges

    CLINTON -- Two Clinton women are currently being held in the Clinton County jail on $50,000 cash-only bonds for methamphetamine charges. Jessica L. Crabtree, 29, 215 10th Ave. North, and Tera A. Riddle, 27, 611 1/2 S. Seventh St., were arrested last

    April 18, 2014

  • Photo exhibit 2 'Hats Off' Art exhibit covers downtown (With Map & Video)

    CLINTON -- A clown. Clinton High wrestlers. An expecting mother. A young Mozart. These faces and more all peered through downtown storefronts Thursday. They're there again today, too. Looking back at them was photographer Jean Black. They are her way

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Fire alarm evacuation at Eagle Heights

    Students of Eagle Heights Elementary School were evacuated Thursday afternoon after staff smelled something being emitted in the first-grade hallway and main office areas.

    According to a press release from the Clinton Community School District, staff noticed the smell at approximately 1:10 p.m. It was then determined the fire department should be notified, and the fire alarm was pulled. The building was evacuated quickly and the Clinton Fire Department responded immediately.

    April 17, 2014

  • UPDATED: McColley found not guilty of sex abuse

    Relief showed on the faces of Russell McColley and his family Thursday as a verdict of not guilty was read in court.
    "Our prayers were answered, that's all I have to say," Tracy Hook, McColley's sister, said.
    McColley was facing a charge of second-degree sexual abuse. If he had been convicted of the class B felony, he could have faced as much as 25 years in prison.

    April 17, 2014

  • Court denies man's appeal in robbery CLINTON -- The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld a conviction of a man who robbed a Clinton pawn shop in 2012. Darrell L. Thomas recently appealed his first-degree robbery conviction to the Iowa Court of Appeals. The court released its decision Wednes

    April 17, 2014

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