The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

July 17, 2013

Keosauqua council considers TIF district

KEOSAUQUA — Keosauqua City Attorney John Morrissey presented his recommendations to the City Council on a request by potential buyers of the Hotel Manning for a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district to include the historic property.

John and Sonia Stookesberry want to purchase the hotel and make substantial improvements totaling more than $2.5 million. At last month’s City Council meeting, the Stookesberrys asked the council to consider a TIF district.

At last Tuesday’s council meeting, Morrissey said, “the simplest way would be to amend the current TIF district and move 12 blocks down to the new district downtown.”

To amend the TIF, the council would have to amend its comprehensive plan and create a new map, which necessitates a public hearing for each, he explained.

Morrissey said the city would also have to amend its ordinance and have a public hearing for that. It would take at least three months to get an amendment done for the TIF district, which is half of the time for the alternative.

Morrissey said there would need to be a collaboration effort between the council and developer, as well as consulting the school and county on the changes.

“If it takes a shorter time, then we want to amend,” said Twyla Peacock, a City Council member.

The council took no action but it will consider the recommendation.

In other action and/or discussion:

• Kent Rice, representing French-Reneker-Associates, discussed with the council the Keosauqua Loop Trail underpass and intersection work on First Street intersecting with Cass Street and Van Buren Street. Carroll Michalek updated the council on the Trails Plaza and Keosauqua Loop Trail underpass projects. Council tabled action on the trail under bridge project until it gets more information on a grant. Work on First and Cass and First and Van Buren intersections was also tabled.

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