The Ottumwa Courier

October 16, 2013

Pool project, TIF district issues in Keosauqua

By RUSTY EBERT
Courier correspondent

---- — KEOSAUQUA — The Keosauqua City Council discussed the pool project, nuisance on First Street and heard an update on the TIF district during its regular council meeting on Oct. 8.

Chris McEntee and Richard Nichols, representing River View Country Club, addressed council members on their concerns over the first draft of a proposed agreement between the club and city of Keosauqua regarding a new pool to be owned by the city. McEntee and Nichols said they met with their attorney, who told them of “red flags” in the agreement. They also discussed the agreement with the River View Country Club at their last meeting.

“There are some sections we don’t fully agree to, and we found some that we agree to,” McEntee said.

The club had concerns over the language that stipulates the city does not guarantee it will budget anything in case the pool loses money.

“We realize the city is a conduit by which the foundation money flows through, but the club would also like the city to take over the pool. The first draft doesn’t say that,” Nichols said.

Mayor Kevin Hranicka said that the draft states “we are not under any obligation; it doesn’t say we won’t. The budget will be at the pleasure of the City Council.”

Hranicka said the reason that language was inserted was to “not bind” future councils.

Nichols said the pool “will most likely lose money,” and the River View Club doesn’t want to continually pay for the losses.

Hranicka said “the council understands that but doesn’t want to move that burden to the city taxpayers.”

Council member Twyla Peacock asked about liability.

Nichols and McEntee will bring a revised contract to the next meeting.

In other business:

• City Attorney John Morrissey updated the council on the Half Moon building. The council discussed periodic monitoring of the building be written into the agreement. The city attorney also updated the council on the TIF district amendment.

Morrissey said a proposed TIF district would encompass much of the commercial district east of Highway 1. He said at the next meeting there would be a detailed map with a description of the district. The council would have to set a time to consult with the other taxing bodies and set a hearing date. The council would also have to draw up an urban renewal plan and then a TIF ordinance.

The council would hear a request on a dollar figure from the Stookesberrys, which would be only “a fractional part of his financial package,” said Morrisey.

• Susan Wasko with the Keosauqua Chamber requested street closing from First Street to Front Street on Van Buren Street for Trunk or Treat night from 4-6 p.m Oct. 31. The council gave its authorization.

• The council discussed the nuisance at 110 First St., the Duckworth building. Hranicka said he met with the owners, Gary and Susan Lee. He said that temporary support beams have been in place; however, “Gary wasn’t sure what the long-term remediation plan is,” Hranicka said. City employees installed barricades on First Street in front of the building. The council requested owners to attend the next council meeting to discuss further plans for the building.

• Date and time for the public hearing regarding CDBG funding for the proposed water/sewer project was set for 4 p.m. Oct. 23 at City Hall.