The Grinnell City Council last night reviewed the contract with the Iowa Economic Development Authority for the Iowa Reinvestment District. Finance Committee Chair Jo Wray said the board’s approval of the contract depends on several factors.

The IEDA contract allows the city to redirect state sales tax revenues and state hotel-motel tax revenues to the Reinvestment District projects.

The city council also approved the Annual Urban Renewal Report for the fiscal year that ended June 30th. The report indicates tax incremental revenues and expenditures of more than 1.9 million dollars. Some urban renewal projects were and are…the bike trail underpass and extension, the way-finding sign project, the Central Business District project, the Blue Stone Properties Mid-Town Center near Wal-Mart, Cooper Enterprises for the renovation of downtown apartments, and various street improvements. Amendment seven to the Grinnell Urban Renewal Plan includes the new boutique hotel, Central Park improvements, phase five of the Central Business District project, and development of the so-called zone of confluence to transform some the of underused and blighted properties in the area. Approved projects in the Urban Renewal District can have increased property tax revenues redirected back to them.

Wray also updated the council on the transition to the new city offices. She said the Pioneer statue and the Community Center display case have been transferred to the Spaulding Building, and the World War Two painting is being stored at the library for now. She said Garling construction has started to frame walls on the 2nd floor. Wray anticipates city offices should be moved by mid-January.

Planning Committee Chair Rachel Bly informed the Grinnell City Council last night that a proposed housing project at 7th and Penrose which would’ve included a two-story 26 unit building and eight three-bedroom villas has been cancelled.

Bly also updated the council on the downtown plan listening sessions. She said some great information has been received, and they’re starting to see trends. Bly said the next step is to gather the data and come up with a plan for the future of the downtown area.

The council also approved an annual 10,800 dollar grant from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau for increased safety belt usage enforcement.

And the council approved the Grinnell Regional Airport five-year capital improvement plan. Public Works and Grounds Committee Chair Byron Hueftley-Worley said a major component of the plan is runway reconstruction at a cost of 3.45 million dollars…of which the federal government will pay just over 3.1 million dollars. Hueftley-Worley said the project will likely take place late next year or early in 2018.

Hueftley-Worley reviewed an up to one million dollar award from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Water Resources Restoration Project. He said the city has preliminary approval for funding to work on ground water problems, especially in the perimeter of the city

The council also approved setting a public hearing on December 19th to consider bids for the Wastewater Treatment Facility Improvements Project.

Hueftley-Worley also reported that Highway 146 is expected to be open to traffic by November 23rd.

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