Grant money being sought for five more rentals on East 3rd
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
City sales tax funds will be put to use on additional street development in the city’s Cornerstone Development.
At the council’s March 17 meeting, a 4-0 vote set in motion the concrete paving of East 3rd St. from Holland east to Highway 61.
The paving of a portion of East 2nd St. was completed last year.
In related action, the same company building 10 rental homes and four for sale in Cornerstone is also applying for state housing grant funds, with the city’s support of the application, to construct five more rental homes along East 3rd.
Estimated cost of the new street is $1.03 million, which includes curb and gutter, sewer and the graveling of the intersecting Orsa Street from 2nd to 4th Sts.
Bonds of an estimated $800,000 will pay for the street development, with LB 840 city sales tax funds (economic development) making the bond payments over a 10-year span. In addition, the project will use $202,000 in cash from the current sales tax fund.
Community Development Director Jason Tuller said his projections on sales tax income over the 10-year period will cover those bond payments.
“On the conservative side, even if no new lots would sell, we still feel it can be done,” Tuller said of the payment plan.
There is also the potential of TIF (tax increment financing) to help supplement the funding, he noted.
The paving was recommended by the Citizens Advisory Committee initially and then forwarded to the council for its approval.
Tuller supports the paving, saying he felt the standards set in the type of infrastructure in place there will have a positive effect on future development of the properties.
Earlier in the meeting, the council approved a pre-application grant on behalf of Dana Point Development, which plans to build the five additional rental houses along East 3rd St. Owner Matt Thomas is not requesting any city financial support for those homes, according to Tuller.
Noting that Dana Point Development received several incentives from the city for the houses now being built on East 2nd St., council member John Arterburn said he’d like to see the development of other lots in town, too.
Tuller said the East 3rd St. development was not being done for Matt Thomas alone.
Mayor Dwight Coleman said the city is not raising taxes for this street development.
“Sales tax is paying for it and that gives me some comfort,” he said.
Coleman had to ask twice for a motion to approve the East 3rd paving, which eventually passed on a 4-0 vote from Arterburn, Chad Yaw, Dan Thompson and J.R. Reeder.
The vote to approve the grant pre-application for the five rental houses also passed 4-0 earlier in the meeting.
That motion gives approval to the pre-application by Dana Point Development for the Nebraska Affordable Housing Grant funds being sought. It involves no financial obligation by the city, according to the discussion, and Thomas will be purchasing the lots for those five homes.
Thomas was donated the lots for the 10 rental homes currently under construction on East 2nd, and the city will not be assessing the company for any of the costs related to the street paving there.
City Clerk/Administrator Jo Leyland said Thomas indicated that he has 22 applications already for the rental homes under construction on East 2nd St. Eight of the 10 will be rent-controlled for lower income residents (at 60 percent of the area’s median income). The other two will rent at market rate.
The five being considered on East 3rd would rent to individuals who make no more than 80 percent of the median income. That means families’ income could be a little higher when considering if they are eligible to rent them, compared to the guidelines for the East 2nd rentals.
The city’s 2014 One & Six Year Street Plan prioritized the East 3rd paving project, putting it on the first year completion list.
East 3rd St. is zoned residential from Holland to Orsa St., then changes to highway commercial from Orsa on east to Highway 61.
Holland St. curbing
Public Works Supt. Pat Davison will acquire cost estimates by the next meeting on curbing the east side of Holland between 2nd and 3rd Sts.
Questions on how they are to tie in the driveways from the four homes being built along Holland to the street have come to Davison from the developer. The street in front of those homes is paved with millings.
Other council business
An ordinance reinstating salaries for the mayor and council will be on the council’s April 7 meeting agenda.
After some back-and-forth discussion, the ordinance will now list an annual salary of $5,200 for the mayor and $2,000 annually for each council member.
Attendance will not be a criteria for receiving those salaries, according to direction given to City Attorney Josh Wendell, who will draw up the ordinance. If approved, the salaries will not go into effect until after the city officials are sworn into their offices following the 2014 General Election.
Cracks will be repaired in the swimming pool with an estimated cost of about $10,400.
Public Works Supt. Pat Davison said the pool is not leaking and viewed the work as preventative maintenance. Money was in the budget to paint the pool, Davison noted, but he felt it was more prudent to use those funds for the crack-filling.
Vector Construction of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will use an epoxy injection process on the cracks located on the pool bottom and other areas, Davison said. The repair work was recommended by the city’s engineer, Miller & Associates.
A bobtail truck show is returning to the Chase County Fair this year, and organizers are requesting space along Wellington St. for the show, as are the Car Nutz and corvette show coordinators.
Representatives from all three groups were at the March 17 council meeting and discussed areas for their shows to be held on Saturday, Aug. 16.
In all, the three shows will encompass all of Wellington from north of the post office to 11th St., as well as all of East 8th from Broadway to Park and all of 6th St. from a half block east of Broadway to Park St. Depending on the number of cars entered, part of East 6th between Broadway and Wellington might be open.
East 7th St. will not involve any of the vehicle shows because the barbecue is set up there.
Both Police Chief Ryan Wisnieski and Fire Chief Nick Schultz were okay with the expanded areas, as long as alley accesses were not blocked. A resolution laying out those areas will be addressed by the council at its next meeting.
While registration for the truck show is scheduled for Friday afternoon, Aug. 15, city officials seemed to suggest organizers find other adjoining lots on Friday so as not to block streets part of that day, as well.
The contractor on the Sage Subdivision paving still had not submitted final bills for the work. Bonds for the project can’t be issued until it is determined “substantially complete,” said City Clerk/Administrator Leyland.
And, the city cannot, by law, give notice of the assessments to property owners there until the “completion” is certified. Due to the public hearings required and other legal time frames, “We are getting down to the wire” on the bond issue, Leyland said.
Davison has also been contacted by some of the Sage Addition residents, asking about assessments and when they can be expected.
Two mayoral appointments were approved, placing Alicia Hinojosa on the library board to replace Jack Cooper, and Kelly Hammerlun to the Planning Commission to complete the term of Jason Anderson, who moved out of the city.
Police Chief Wisnieski informed the council that just one of two new police officers was able to get into the next class at the Law Enforcement Training Center in Grand Island. Kelly Pearson will start the class in April. Chad Ostmeyer will start in August, when Pearson finishes.
Seventh grader Macy Coleman gave her FCCLA STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) presentation on recycling at the start of the meeting. She will compete at the state level with it in the Environmental Ambassador category.