Loan approved from economic development funds for rental housing project
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Matt Thomas of Dana Point Development will receive a $310,000 loan toward costs of rental housing units the company is planning in the city-owned Cornerstone Commercial Park.
The loan, provided at zero percent interest, will be paid back over 15 years and will be awarded to Heather Estates, the name chosen for the Imperial project that hopes to build 10 rental units.
With the awarding of these funds, Community Development Director Jason Tuller said it will give the company three additional points in their efforts to gain state grant money for the $1.915 million project.
It will also allow the firm to alter their plan to build eight of the units for low-income housing and the other two at “market rate.”
Initially, all 10 were going to be low-income housing with income a factor in who could rent them, according to discussion at previous meetings.
The request for the loan funds was forwarded to the council with approval from the Citizens Advisory Committee and the Loan Review Committee.
The loan will not be paid to the developer until the units are up, and the city will have first lien on the units.
The resolution approved 4-0 by the council states the developer will make annual $10,000 payments back to the city’s LB840 fund until the end of year 15 when the rest of the balance will be due.
Dana Point Development expects to hear in April if they have been successful on their NIFA grant application.
More council business
- A bid-opening date of March 28 was set for street, water and sewer improvements in the Sage Addition and in the city’s Cornerstone Commercial Park. Engineer Kent Cordes met with the council and mayor Monday and reviewed specs of both projects. In Sage, streets in the addition will be 36 feet wide, while 12th St. will be paved 44 feet wide to match the rest of the street to the east. In Cornerstone, a base bid will request crushed rock from Holland east to Highway 61 on 2nd Street, with an alternate bid for a 40-foot wide concrete street from Holland to Orsa St., then crushed rock from there to the highway. Cordes said they will open the bids a few days ahead of the council’s April 1 meeting, when approval of the Sage and 12th St. project could come. The city may wait on approval of the Cornerstone street work until the housing project developer learns if a grant was received for the 10 rental units hoped to be built along 2nd Street. Cordes thought work could start in May with a completion date in November.
- Recommendation for a Class I liquor license for Tequilas Mexican Grill will be forwarded to the State Liquor Control Commission after a 4-0 vote by the council. The license will allow on-sale of liquor, wine and spirits only. Owners Miguel Esparza and Gabriela Hernandez-Lopez had mistakenly first asked for a Class C license, but that was altered before the vote. The owners were present and said they hope to open in three weeks at 140 East 12th St. Esparza noted they decided to open here after strong encouragement from Imperial residents who patronized their McCook restaurant.
- Two zoning changes requested by two local businesses gained 4-0 votes. Markee Ag Services purchased the former T-Junction restaurant building and requested the change from commercial to light industrial to match their current business property nearby. Titan Machinery purchased just under 10 acres of ground to the south of their business on Highway 6 north of Imperial, and requested it be changed from agricultural to commercial, also to match their other zoning.
- Keno funds of $3,000 for support of the SCORE science camps were requested by Marla Smith. The council voted to fund about $400, which is what the fund would have left after the keno special election costs were factored in. The city utility department also donates $500 to the every-other-year science camps.
- Mayor Dwight Coleman had a request from a citizen concerning purchasing the water rights remaining in the city’s Cornerstone Commercial Park. Public Works Supt. Pat Davison reviewed the city’s annual allocation from the NRD. The council chose to take no action on the request.
- Council member John Arterburn was appointed to replace Sue Moore on the Chase County Community Facilities Agency, and Claudette Swanson was approved as a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee to replace Judy Gaswick.