The Ottumwa Courier

July 17, 2013

Keosauqua council considers TIF district

By RUSTY EBERT
Courier correspondent

---- — 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.

• Sheriff Dan Tedrow presented the quarterly report. He said there are problems with the buzzards around the tower next to the sheriff’s office and he said they are trying to deter the buzzards from landing there.

• Morrissey discussed proposed agreement concerning the establishment of a pool for council review. The agreement would be between the city, Riverview Country Club and the Swimming Pool Project Task Force-Friends. The city would agree to maintain the pool. It spells out the city’s liability in owning the pool, but the agreement would not be intended to constitute a general obligation or guarantee of appropriation by the city. Morrissey recommended the city committee working on the matter review the document and share it with the other parties involved.

• Council held a public hearing on the proposed ordinance dealing with ATVs. The council waived the second reading and approved the ordinance.

• Heidi Bainbridge, who represents Kids at Play, advised the city clerk that the Hoaglin Foundation Grant application request will be for additional swings in the city park.

• Richard Nichols, representing Community First Insurance, spoke with the council regarding liability issues with outdoor seating authorizations.

• Council tabled a request from Mike Laux to install a 12-inch tube along the front of his property located at 1536 Front Street. Jim Chambers said that council member Korby Loeffler visited with Laux and it appears that another solution is being considered. Board will consider the proposal at next month’s meeting.

• City Superintendent, Jim Chambers, reported the following:

1. Storm water project in the 100 block of Dodge Street is almost complete.

2. Will be repairing the tube at the intersection of Walnut and Second Streets.

3. Will be installing a new drinking fountain and bike rack in the city park.

4. Getting streets ready for seal coating.

5. The new tornado warning siren is installed at the Trails Plaza location.

• Council gave authorization to close streets and parking areas for the Fall Festival.

• A liquor license for River-Pizza was approved, pending dram shop approval. Council member Atwood abstained.

• Council member Katie Nichols discussed RAGBRAI Hospitality Committee ideas with the Council.