The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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January 14, 2014

County, City specify rail park payments

CLINTON — One question over who gets what when land deals in the Lincolnway Rail Park are finalized has been answered. As for what those final figures will look like, that matter will depend on how much acreage both Nevada Railroad Materials and RAIL.ONE purchase from the City of Clinton.

Clinton County loaned the city $6 million in order to develop the park, and a way the county will be reimbursed is through those land sales. On Monday, Mayor Mark Vulich, City Administrator Jessica Kinser and the city’s temporary basis attorney John Frey all appeared before the Clinton County Board of Supervisors to spell out what those payments are supposed to look like.

“The agreement was if we had a sale, we would pay back 50 percent of sale proceeds,” Vulich said. However, given the complexity of the sales, it was uncertain, prior to Monday, what “50 percent” will look like.

Clinton has a 28E agreement with Clinton County which serves as the method for determining the sale of proceeds. Vulich said final numbers over sales to both companies haven’t been factored, given what he called “deductible expenses.”

Rough figures have RAIL.ONE purchasing $1.1 million worth of property and NRM buying $748,000. The 50-50 split the city and county will both receive will be factored after deduction of services is calculated. Those services include (among other things): abstracting costs, legal expenses from the sale, property tax prorate and platting expense — all of which were unanimously approved by the county as deductible through an addendum to the original resolution.

“We don’t have a dollar amount because we don’t know exactly what acres (the companies) are going to buy,” Vulich said.

Originally, the county approved the resolution on the 28E agreement in September 2013. While Clinton’s own resolution would have appeared before the city council, Vulich said the city held off on ruling on the matter because of the November election. Clinton proposed the addendum to the county’s resolution during its Dec. 10, 2013 meeting.

“We decided to wait to take it to the council until after the election so someone couldn’t use it as a campaign issue,” he said. “Going forward, when there’s a sale, we know exactly which items are acceptable expenses to deduct from the gross sales price.”

Shortly before approving the addendum to the county’s original resolution, Supervisor Brian Schmidt spoke candidly to city leaders about how much Clinton County values their relationship during this economic project.

“I deeply treasure that relationship the city has with the county,” Schmidt said. “To a large proportion, we represent the same people. We share that common bond with representing the best interests of the same people.”

He urged further success for the city of Clinton as the rail park continues to develop.

 

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