The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

January 23, 2014

DeWitt conducts public hearings

By Jan Huffman Herald Correspondent
The Clinton Herald

---- — DEWITT — A series of public hearings were held Monday at the DeWitt City Council meeting.

In a public hearing preceding approval of an amendment to the urban renewal plan, projects were added to the list of those eligible for tax increment financing. The projects added were the Brookline subdivision, an addition to the DeWitt Fitness Center, a trail extension, an amendment to the Busch-Necker residential agreement, the Maschio Gaspardo agreement, and the already-completed senior housing study.

Listing the projects does not ensure TIF funding, as each project requires a stand-alone agreement and public hearing for specific approval.

The urban renewal plan amendment for the DeWitt economic development district was later approved. The city has a debt limit of $17,149,287 with outstanding general obligation debt at $13,760,000. The current amendment’s proposed debt obligation is $4,114,500.

The second public hearing concerned the development agreement with Maschio Gaspardo, North America, Inc., an Italian manufacturer of agricultural equipment. The company is purchasing the former Remington Seed building, a 122,000 square feet structure at 122 Third Avenue East. A crew of 10 to 15 will be employed in the initial capacity of warehouse and shipping. As many as 100 workers may eventually be employed.

The agreement approves a maximum total TIF rebate of $125,000 over 10 years with two tiers for the rebate. Based on the number of employees, 50 percent of the increment or 100 percent of the increment will be given. The agreement was approved later in the meeting.

The final public hearing was for a proposed zoning provision of a portion of Lot 2 Westbrook Ridge subdivision from R-1 single family residential to R-3 multiple family dwelling district. Also included is rezoning part of Lot 2 Westbrook Ridge subdivision from R-2 moderate density dwelling district to residential to R-3 multiple family dwelling district with a residential planned development district overlay. The areas will be re-platted as lots 15-20 and 33-41 of Jacobsen Farms First Addition, and the purpose of the rezoning is to build multi-unit condominiums.

The overlay and R-3 rezoning is for the area along First Street. The R-3 zoning and overlay will allow the developer more flexibility with density and setbacks, such as utilizing 7.5 feet side setbacks and bay windows in side yards. The rezoning from R-2 to R-3 is along Fourth Street and permits 2-unit condominiums.

City Administrator Steve Lindner said the rezoning fits the density better and provides for low and moderate income housing.

The first reading of an amendment to the zoning map was approved, but Lindner said the final plat of the subdivision has not yet been approved. Technically, he said, the lots in the ordinance do not exist until the final plat is approved. The second and third readings will be delayed until then.

The council approved the purchase of Arc Global Information System software from Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc., of Redlands, Calif., at a cost of $7,000. The city’s new GIS technician recommended the purchase to continue the city’s mapping system of its infrastructure. There is an annual maintenance fee of $1,500 per year for the software.

Also approved were a lien release of $660 on 121 Sixth Ave. for installation of a sewer lateral as part of the 2013 Sixth Avenue project and the first reading of an ordinance pertaining to a disorderly house.

Beer permits were renewed for MJ’s East and Mac’s Express. Barnes Foodland renewed its beer permit, wine permit and liquor permit.

A certification of appreciation was presented to Eddie Mercado for serving on a city board as well as Vicki Houseley and Carol McDonnell in absentia.

A budget workshop followed the meeting.