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Council approves TIF rebate to new dental center

By James Grob, [email protected]

The Charles City Council held a public hearing Monday and, receiving no written or oral comments, approved an amendment to the South Grand Urban Renewal Plan.

The action was procedurally necessary in order for the city to add a new development project to the plan — a dental center, which is being constructed by M&M Real Estate on a currently vacant lot at 1413 S. Grand Ave.

“This amendment is required … to allow us to offer tax increment financing (TIF) into the agreement,” said Charles City Administrator Steve Diers. “This is added taxable value that they are adding to the property, which is generating that TIF rebate.”

The project is being built for Hometown Dental, owned by Dr. Addison Faldet and Dr. Reed Faldet, who have said they have outgrown their current location on Main Street.

In October, Tim Fox of the Charles City Area Development Corp. proposed the project and requested the tax incentives, which would include a five-year tax rebate of 86.88% of additional property tax generated from the project. That would equate to an annual rebate of just under $25,000 over five years. The rebate would end once the incentive reached $125,000.

The council approved the amendment unanimously, and a public hearing for the development agreement has been set for the Jan 19 council meeting.

In other action on Monday, the council held the third and final reading of an ordinance that will govern utility task vehicle (UTV), all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and snowmobile usage within the city limits.

The ordinance repeals the previous city code and amends the provisions of the repealed chapter to provide rules and regulations for ATVs, UTVs and snowmobiles.

The ordinance amendment was adopted unanimously and will be a part of the city code once published.

New council member Patrick Lumley requested that the council should hear a report after six months regarding the success of the new ordinance, and the rest of the council seemed to agree.

UTVs would be permitted on city streets between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 p.m., but they are not allowed on state highways except to directly cross at an intersection. UTV’s will also not be allowed on city parks, trails or recreational bridges.

ATVs will be allowed to be used on city streets only for snow removal.

“All-terrain vehicles (ATV) shall only be operated upon streets within 24 hours of a snow event on the public streets and alleys for the purpose of using the most direct route from one area of operation to another, and only when engaged in the activity of snow removal,” the ordinance says. “ATVs shall have a blade or bucket fixed to the ATV. No ATVs shall be driven on the street or alleys solely for entertainment or pleasure.”

The ordinance says an ATV may also stop at service stations or convenience stores along the designated roadway to refuel, and states that all-terrain vehicles and off-road utility vehicles will have a speed limit of 35 mph.

Operators must be at least age 18, have a valid Iowa driver’s license to drive an ATV or UTV, and the vehicle must be registered with the city and the state. Liability insurance coverage is required, as are front and rear lights. UTVs must also have brake lights.

Snowmobiles will be permitted similarly to how they have been allowed in the past, however there is a change to operation on Saturday evening into Sunday morning. Operation would be limited to midnight on Sunday morning as opposed to 1 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Also on Monday, the council held a public hearing and, upon hearing no comments, adopted a resolution conveying the property at 312 15th Avenue, currently a vacant lot, to an adjacent property owner for $1,300. The amount was below the established minimum bid of $1,500, but City Attorney Brad Sloter told the council it could accept the bid.

The sealed bid was submitted by and opened on Dec. 15, and only one bid was ultimately received. The property once held a duplex that has since been torn down by the city as a nuisance property.

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