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Wells OKs TIF District

By Staff | Apr 28, 2019

The city of Wells will now have a new TIF district in its city limits. AMB Properties applied for and, since last week’s City Council meeting, has been approved for a Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, district for their property.

Jessica Green of Northland Securities was present during the city’s public hearing on the proposal and stated this business does not have any wage and job goals with the TIF?District, but the reason they applied for the TIF District was to keep their business in Wells.

During the public meeting, with only four members of the public present, no comments or concerns were addressed with the TIF?District. When it came to discussion from the City Council, it was still quiet. The city, along with its citizens seemed content in the decision of allowing AMB?Properties to move forward with its TIF plan.

Two official resolutions were needed to put the TIF District into action. The first was Resolution 2019-11: TIF?District 3-1 Plan for AMB Properties located at the Wells Business Park and Resolution 2019-10: TIF District 3-1 Development agreement with AMB Properties.

Once the formal motions were on the table, set forth by councilwomen Brenda Weber and Crystal Dulas, the motions were passed and the resolutions were put into place. Mayor David Braun abstained from voting on both resolutions, and City Council member John Herman was absent during the meeting, leaving Dulas, Weber, and Jessica Mortenson to pass the motions.

In other business at the Wells City Council meeting, the Wells HRA board has requested that the city pay for the 2019 mowing costs of the former USC tennis court area.

According to a letter from board chairwoman Ann Schuster, the city has paid for the mowing of the area for the past two years and the HRA hopes the city will pay the $2,200 for the mowing again this year.

Mayor Braun took the time to explain to newer council members that this agreement was never set in writing, but was a mutual understanding that the city would mow the west half and the HRA would mow the east half of the old?USC property while the HRA?figured out what lots would be sold in the future.

“It’s been several years since we’ve looked at that, and with the housing development moving foward, perhaps it’s an opportunity to look into that agreement again,” said Holl. “So, I mean you can continue as is. You can ask the HRA to pay for it, they certainly have the means, you guys can split it, too. It’s been several years and it was thought back then that the transfer would be a lot quicker than it has been.”

“Maybe they can pay two thirds and we can pay that other third,” said Mayor Braun.

“I’m thinking if they’re keeping the tennis court portion, maybe they should pay for it,” said Weber.

“It’s not really broken out in the mowing contract so maybe we have to break it up here,” said Holl. “If you want, you can decide on a percentage here and take it back to the HRA or continue it as is. Whichever you wish to do.”

“I was thinking 33 percent and get those for sale signs up on those lots,” said the mayor.

“Is it still the city’s intention to take possession of that other property? If the city doesn’t want it, or the HRA doesn’t want to give it up, they can pay for the whole thing,” said Dulas.

“A couple years ago they made a motion to give it to the city, but nothing ever came of that. You can’t transfer property by a motion,” informed Holl. “Really, in order for them to make that transfer happen, they have to have the deed work done by city attorney Mr. Frundt and then they have to pass a resolution and motion to do that then you would have to accept that here as a council.”

The plat is still in the hands of the county, according to Holl, who inquired earlier about where the city was with its process on the area. The plat is said to be finished soon.

“One asterisk to put by this when it comes to transfering this property is that Travis Winter, our city engineer, is planning the old football field site. Originally some of this land that we are looking at, which is now HRA property, was planned for water retention,” said Holl. “However, if we end up using the old USC football field site for water retention, that may change the picture the drainage, the need for water retention in that area; one option is to wait to see if we need that other area for water retention or not.”

The council had made a definitive decision to bring their discussion points back to the HRA to see what their input would be towards the property discussion, then decide on mowing afterwards.

The council also:

Heard the Wells Mirror and Kiester Courier Sentinel would be merging into one newspaper, with a name to be determined.

Witnessed a demonstration of the new city of Wells website by city administrative associate Tiffany Schrader. Though the website is not up and running, Schrader says the new and improved website will be up soon.

Accepted the resignation from Jillian Kurashima at the Wells Public Library.

Approved five new Wells Fire Department hires including Josh Stangler, Josh Raimann, Nathan Neibuhr, Aaron Nasinec and Cody Winstead.

Supported a request from SMIF?to invest $500 into its foundation.

Approved the sale of a lot to Karl Kimpton for $7,500 after the EDA moved to seek the council’s approval.

Discussed seal coating that would take place during the summer for the city of Wells. City street foreman Mike Pyzick stated there were three factors as to how he chooses what streets need seal coating. One is the dollar amount provided by the city, two is looking at any upcoming street projects that could potentially eliminate any areas, and three is looking at roads that would be reconstructed.

During city staff reports, heard from city engineer Travis Winter that the Sixth Street project is under way again. The team will be finishing driveways, sidewalks, and curbs with concrete, then begin turf restoration.