Council approves spec building saleMore good news coming this summer?
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
Good things may be coming to Mt. Pleasant in the next several months.
The city may be on the verge of an economic development boost, according to developers.
During their regular meeting Wednesday night, the Mt. Pleasant City Council approved the sale of lots eight and nine and the industrial speculative (spec) building in the Crossroads Industrial Park. The council has to approve the purchase of the sale of any land in the industrial park.
Kiley Miller, executive vice president of the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance, said a local industriay needed more space and another party has offered to purchase the spec building and lease space to the local industry. Miller said he could not yet divulge the identity of either party.
“We hope this is the second positive news (Endodontics Specialists LLC of Iowa City, an oral dental surgical facility, announced in December 2013 that it will build a satellite office in Mt. Pleasant) and we feel good about a couple more positive news items this summer. This would be great for Mt. Pleasant,” Miller said.
Judging from Mayor Steve Brimhall’s follow-up remarks, it would appear local development officials are fairly certain of the economic boost. “Kiley has another one coming for sure and maybe another one,” Brimhall added. “We hope the recruitment of new business adds value to the community.”
Meeting just one week after its previous meeting, the council did not have a lengthy agenda but did approve the 2014-15 city budget. The budget calls for $22,247,513 in expenditures and the property tax levy remains at $12.18 per $1,000 taxable valuation.
The city was able to hold the line on the property tax levy despite a $2.5M loss in assessed valuation.
Commercial and industrial taxable valuation was rolled back 5 percent this budget year. However, the state will backfill the nearly $100,000 the city loses through the rollback.
“This is a good budget and the city is in great financial condition,” summarized Brimhall. “We built up a reserve to grow us out of this situation (commercial and industrial tax rollback and the reclassification of property tax on apartment buildings being reclassified as residential next year rather than commercial). We are okay for a while. We just hope the state continues to reimburse us on commercial (property tax lost).”
Looking ahead to the summer construction season, Jim Warner of Warner Engineering, said no start date has been established. “I have a signed contract from Shipley on Iris (Street). We will have a preconstruction meeting soon and will know more about the (construction) schedule in early April.”
“Until we have the meeting, we can’t tell industries anything,” City Administrator Brent Schleisman added. “Hopefully, this will be as smooth (of a project) as the other projects we’ve done.”
Chris Heaton, president of the Midwest Old Threshers Board of Directors, informed the council on improvements on the Threshers’ grounds at McMillan Park and updated the council on various events Old Threshers has planned.
“We thank you for your past support,” he told the council. It has been a good relationship thus far and we appreciate all you have done for us.”
Entertainment for this year’s Midwest Old Threshers Reunion will be announced during an “Alive After Five” event at the Main Street Cinemas Wednesday, March 12.
In other agenda items, the council:
• Passed the third reading and adopted an ordinance rezoning 38 acres (more or less) of Thornton LLC property from AR (agricultural residential reserve district) to B4 (highway service commercial district).
• Passed the second reading of a proposed ordinance prohibiting parking on the west side of Hamlin Street from Monroe to Henry streets.
• Passed the second reading of a proposed ordinance increasing parking fines from $5 to $10.
• Passed the second reading of a proposed ordinance establishing a fine ($25) in all fire zones in the city.
• Approved Mayor Brimhall’s reappointment of Wesley Barton to a three-year term on the construction appeals board.
Council members meet again in regular session Wednesday, March 26, at 7 p.m. at City Hall.