By Dean Andrews, Mayor, Charles City
We are glad to announce that the city will be partnering with Circle K Electronics to continue the operation of our local taxi service.
Our longtime current operators have decided to retire, and we have been looking for several months for a new provider. The taxi operation is a service that is annually subsidized by the City of Charles City and North Iowa Area Council of Governments (NIACOG).
It is our hope that with the city being a direct partner in operations with Circle K, that we can determine a service that is sustainable. We will start with a one year contract and see how things work out.
The city is also working with the Floyd County supervisors and the Southwest TIF Committee to acquire property for an industrial certified site. Our current industrial park on 11th Street has very little space remaining.
The Charles City Area Development Corp. has spent several months searching several areas for a potential site, and has finally secured an option on a property which was their No. 1 choice.
The property is along the east side of Shadow Avenue near the Avenue of the Saints. The area already has infrastructure access of gas, sewer and water, which is a tremendous plus. Its close proximity to the four-lane highway is also attractive to potential businesses.
The current proposal would be to use tax increment financing (TIF) dollars to pay for the purchase of the property. These dollars are generated with tax revenues created by current projects and expansions in the industrial park such as Mitas Tires, Winnebago and expansions at Cambrex and Zoetis.
It is an opportunity to use dollars generated by past business success to hopefully encourage future industrial projects.
These plans still need to be approved by the Southwest TIF Board, the City Council, and the Board of Supervisors, but I think this is another positive and progressive step for Charles City and Floyd County.
On a final note, I had the opportunity to be part of a group that met with representatives of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.
I feel Charles City has always been a community that is very supportive of the arts, and it was a great opportunity to meet with this state group to seek opportunities to be even better.
The consensus from the meeting was to establish better contacts with the State Department to identify funding sources, program opportunities, and regional partnerships to show Charles City as a leader in cultural affairs, one more item in our quality of life package.