The Huxley City Council, at its most recent meeting, discussed financing options for the street and utility improvements needed for a proposed Kum & Go project and approved the selection of a contractor to move forward on the new gas station, which will be located at the intersection of Highway 210 and Interstate 35.
It is believed the new convenience store could become a popular stop for tourists and commuters along the Interstate 35 corridor between Ames and Ankeny.
Michael Hart, vice president of Northland Securities, discussed the proposed financing solution for the project with council members.
“We met with the Economic Development Committee, and one of the pieces of feedback we got several months ago was, we want to make sure as we build this water and sewer line that the valuation created by the new Kum & Go building could support paying for the infrastructure improvement related to that,” said Hart. “The measure we will use for that is tax increment financing.”
According to Hart, the building will be valued at $6.5 million. The council reviewed the details of a General Obligation bond issue in the amount of $3,720,000 for street and utility improvements necessary for the Kum & Go project at an estimated interest rate of 2.39 percent.
“When you issue general obligation debt, it’s a full-faith in credit of the city that you are going to levy that debt service tax on all the taxable property across the community to get it paid off,” added John Danos, attorney from Dorsey and Whitney, who gave a brief overview of tax increment financing earlier in the evening.
The final bond proposal and potential vote will come at the next council meeting on Sept. 24.
Council also considered bids and construction plans for the Interstate 35 and Highway 210 water and sewer project, which would extend sanitary sewer and water main from the Blue Sky Industrial Park across the interstate, then south along the interstate to the proposed site of the new Kum & Go.
There were seven bids ranging from $1.26 million down to $1,002,000. Council awarded the contract to the low bidder, Graff Excavating of Toledo, Iowa. This decision is pending two easement approvals, which are needed to move forward with the project. The motion passed 4-0.
In other council news:
• The Council considered a rezoning request for the Knackmodes building, at 602 North Main Ave., from C1 (neighborhood commercial) to C2 (highway commercial). The request had already gone through planning and zoning with a favorable recommendation (with some limitations) according to John Haldeman, city administrator.
The request stems from the growth of City Powersports and Equipment, a locally-owned motorcycle, ATV and outdoor equipment store.
Several residents addressed the council during the public hearing about their frustrations with noise from increased traffic and small engines and occasional racing of snowmobiles and four-wheelers, as well as concerns about what other businesses might be allowed to come into a residential neighborhood with the rezoning request.
“When this business went in, we were trying to work with the business so they could just do sales, and keep it on the concrete, and keep it neat. It just kept mushrooming outward, which caused the issues with neighbors with sound and appearance,” said Haldeman.
Upon hearing the concerns from residents, Councilman David Jensen made a motion to table the discussion for further evaluation until the next meeting on Sept. 24. The motion passed 4-0.
• Council voted on the first reading of Ordinance 504 to amend dates to explode fireworks, which would make the use of fireworks legal within city limits on the dates of July 1-7 each year between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Councilman David Kuhn commented that he would be voting in opposition to the amendment.
“I believe fireworks are not intended for an urban setting,” said Kuhn. “There are members of this community that do not wish to be disrupted for seven evenings until ten o’clock at night.”
There was no further opposition to the amendment from the council or members of the audience.
The motion to amend the code passed 3-1. There will be at least one more reading of the proposed change before a final vote.