By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
A local group of investors hoping to get an apartment complex established here are now considering a different location for it.
At the council’s Oct. 1 meeting, Prime, Inc. President Steve Smith said they were planning to move the four-plex to lots on Grant Street, between 12th and 13th Sts., and had initiated the zoning change process to place it there.
At Monday’s meeting this week, the council was approached with a request from Prime, Inc., to purchase ground in the Cornerstone property, Lot 12, directly north of Keith Regier’s shop building along Holland St.
Imperial’s Citizens Advisory Committee met last Thursday on the request, and forwarded a recommendation to the council that the lot be sold to the group for $7,000 to include all infrastructure improvements, all of which are not in place.
The lot is currently priced at $14,000.
Jane Moreland, secretary of the Prime group, was at this week’s meeting.
She said they are getting good initial interest from businesses on the concept, but harvest has slowed it down. They hope to have commitments finalized in 30 days.
She said they have not yet completed purchase of the four-plex, two-story unit they plan to have moved to Imperial. Business owners are being contacted to “reserve” an apartment for future employee needs.
Much discussion Monday among the council was what and how much of the other future improvements, such as paving and curb/gutter, should be included along with the lowered $7,000 lot price.
The Citizens Advisory Committee recommendation included all infrastructure costs that would occur down the road for that price, and is what Prime requested.
City Clerk/Administrator Jo Leyland noted the lots in Cornerstone were priced with the fact infrastructure would be in place. Earlier action by the council also approved development of 2nd Street.
Costs that could come up in the future include paving of 2nd St., the $3,000 to $5,000 estimate for a TIF development site plan for the four-plex project and future curb and gutter along Holland St.
In addition, with council approval of the program last month, Prime could apply for the waiver (up to $5,000) for sewer and water taps and electrical service to the property.
At the Oct. 1 meeting, the council also voted to provide sales tax dollars in a 15-year, low-interest loan to Prime to fund half of their housing effort.
In the end, the council Monday directed City Attorney Josh Wendell to draw up a purchase agreement for the $7,000 purchase price for Lot 12 in Cornerstone.
For that price, future utility infrastructure costs are included with an intent to open 2nd St., with no assessments to Prime for future paving.
The agreement will not include waiving future curb and gutter costs along Holland St., if that would ever occur.
Council member Chad Yaw said he was okay with Prime’s total cost for the lot/infrastructure being no more than $7,000.
“We are desperate for housing and this would be a nice starter for out there,” he said, adding that also includes “biting the bullet” on their costs for future Holland St. curb and gutter.
Doug Gaswick said something needs to get going with housing in the community.
The vote was 3-1. Council members Yaw, Gaswick and Sue Moore voted yes, while John Arterburn voted no.
Arterburn said he didn’t like the “open checkbook” concept of the agreement that included all future costs be included in the $7,000 price.
Other members of the Prime, Inc., group are Brenda Cahow, vice president; and Russ Pankonin, treasurer.