Jeff council to sell $2.54 million in bonds

Moving forward with tax abatement, zoning for multi-family housing in NW Jefferson

The Jefferson city council at its June 10 meeting held a public hearing on a general obligation loan agreement not to exceed $243,000 for construction of a 10-foot wide shared use path along Central Ave from N. Elm St to N. Walnut St.

The path has not yet been designed and the side of the street on which it will be built isn’t known. The council is moving ahead with putting funding in place so the cost can be added to a $2.43 million general obligation bond sale slated for later this month.

The council at its May 21 meeting approved a similar resolution for a bond sale not to exceed $2.4 million. At its Tuesday meeting, the council approved a resolution setting June 25 as the date to sell $2.54 million in bonds.

The council will use the bond proceeds to finance improvements to alleys and municipal parks; acquire equipment for the fire department and solid waste collection; make improvements to city hall including the entrance, an elevator and parking lot; make improvements and acquire equipment for the municipal swimming pool; acquire equipment for the municipal golf course; work on the East Entry Way project; and the Central Ave shared use path.

Payment on the bonds will increase city residents’ property tax bills 35-cents (per thousand of taxable valuation). The city will pay $700,000 in interest over the life of the bonds.

The council also held a public hearing on the relocation of 243rd St for the airport runway expansion project. There were no public comments and the council moved forward with the needed resolutions for the project.

The council then approved a grant from the FAA that will pay the entire cost of the project.

The board heard from city attorney Bob Schwarzkopf about the process of extending the 3-year, 100 percent tax abatement now in place for residential and commercial property, and adding a 10-year, 100 percent abatement for multi-family residential construction.

The 10-year abatement was the only incentive requested by Rowland Realty to construct four-plexes in the 500 block of N. Olive St.

The council at its June 25 meeting will set the date for a public hearing on the abatements.

City zoning officer Nick Sorensen was directed to begin the process of changing the zoning of that property to allow for multi-family residential buildings.

In salary matters, the council extended the contract of city administrator Mike Palmer another year and awarded him a 4 percent raise. The council approved the second reading of an ordinance increasing city council stipends from $30 to $60 per meeting, and another ordinance increasing the mayor’s salary from $200 to $400 per month.

The council also appointed Jerry Roberts to the library board.

The council heard an annual report from the Thomas Jefferson Gardens board. Board president Mary Weaver highlighted activities at the Thomas Jefferson Gardens and Welcome Center over the past year and mentioned plans for the coming year.

The Gardens hosted visitors from 40 states and Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Scotland, Turkey, Spain and Switzerland. A total of 1,476 persons signed the guest registry.

Thomas Jefferson Gardens receives $20,000 per year in Tier Two hotel/motel tax funds for loan payments and operation of the building, as well as Tier Three funds for special projects.

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