Owners of Scott’s Pump Service moving; council deals with property questions

    Scott and Stephanie Moser are moving from Imperial.
    Their business, Scott’s Pump Service on Imperial’s Highway 61, suffered considerable damage in a Feb. 16 fire.
    The future of the property their business sits on was subject of extensive discussion at Monday’s city council meeting.
    Much of it centered on Mosers’ request that the city release them from having to pay back $161,450—the difference in what they paid for the Cornerstone lots and their original retail price.
    Community Development Director Jason Tuller, who worked directly with the couple on their property purchase, reviewed some history before the council and mayor Monday night.
    The Mosers bought Lots 1 and 4 in the southeast section in Cornerstone for Scott’s Pump Service two years ago. The purchase agreement dated April 6, 2015 listed on its first page an economic development grant from the city valued at $161,450.
    That “benefit” was realized when the retail price of $361,450 for their Cornerstone lots was decreased to $200,000 as an incentive used by the city to spur economic development.
    In receiving that discounted price, the Mosers agreed to create six full-time equivalent jobs by April 2018, and that those jobs would be maintained for two years.
    With the Mosers’ plans to move, that part of the contract won’t be met.
    City Attorney Josh
Wendell sent the Mosers a letter last month informing them the $161,450 was to be paid back to the city in 45 days.
    After that, the Mosers contacted  city officials to see if they had some options.
    Initially, the Mosers met March 16 with the city’s Loan Review Committee (LRC), which is charged with reviewing and analyzing requests for economic development funds and benefits such as lot price reductions, and then makes recommendations to the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).
    At that meeting, the LRC voted to “create a purchase agreement for the property at Cornerstone for $250,000” with the city as a potential buyer.
    According to the minutes, the $250,000 asking price took into consideration improvements of asphalt, dirt work, natural gas, electric and water hookups, as well as culverts and driveways built.
    On Monday, though, Tuller said the possibility of buying back the property by the city isn’t feasible right now. With the current commitments for use of the LB 840 sales tax fund, it would be difficult to fund any new purchases.

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