The Monett City Council authorized hiring legal council to extend the sales tax in the community improvement district (CID) in Monett's second tax increment financing (TIF) zone around Lowe's.
City Administrator Dennis Pyle told council members at Monday's meeting that the lack of retail development in the out-lots in front of Lowe's had left less revenue than expected to pay off the TIF debt. The CID had been created to impose an additional sales tax to help cover the debt. Now the CID was approaching expiration without additional revenue stream in place to take its place.
Under the original plan, the city put all of the sales tax revenue earned in the first two years from TIF 2 toward paying off the TIF debt. Then the CID tax started and was supposed to run for four years, adding a quarter-cent tax to all sales in the TIF 2, which at this time represents only the Lowe's store.
Pyle said extending the CID tax would address the cash flow issue without further activity on the out-lots for now. Council members agreed to hire Yates, Maiuck and Bohrer, Ellif and Fels to handle paperwork for amending the CID. The firm includes attorney Carl Yates, who has handled a number of TIF-related matters for the city.
Fourth Street one-way
The proposal to make Fourth Street into a one-way street going north between Front Street and Broadway was introduced. Public comment will be heard on the matter during a special meeting called for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 28.
Commissioner Mike Brownsberger suggested there may not be a need to completely restrict parking on the west side of Fourth Street for Bruner's Pharmacy to operate its drive-up window. Mayor Jim Orr suggested leaving the proposal as written for the public comment and amending it as needed.
Depending on the public comments, Pyle said the council will be prepared to vote on final adoption of the ordinance on June 28. Council members agreed the proposal offered a workable solution for traffic flow and would help the pharmacy, which requested the change.
Public comment on the proposal to limit a specific area for ground level markers at the Oakdale Cemetery brought a clarification from Pyle. The city purchased the south section for the cemetery in 1992, and in 20 years, only 20 lots had been sold in the section with the ground level restriction on grave markers, which were established for mowing convenience.
Noting the pace of lot sales in light of the more popular higher stones allowed in other cemeteries, a local monument company suggested changing the restriction from the entire south half section to only 40 percent of the section. Pyle said the change opens up more of the cemetery to the larger stones typically used at the IOOF Cemetery.
Final approval was scheduled for the July 20 meeting.
Council members reappointed Steven DeSutter to the Building Board for a four-year term. DeSutter was first appointed in April 2007.
Council members passed a resolution authorizing the Monett Industrial Development Authority (IDA) to issue $9 million in bank-qualified recreation facility revenue bonds. Funds will be used to build the new Monett Area YMCA building with tax-free bonds available through an IDA. The bond action represented no liability to the city.
The IDA will hold its public hearing on issuing the bonds for the YMCA at 5 p.m. on July 6 at City Hall.
A second agreement with Empire District Electric Company on future wholesale purchase of electricity was approved. Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch explained that with the unbundling of electric rates, payment for bringing power into Monett will be made to different parties instead of just to Empire.
The city will receive a bill of around $92,000 a month in addition to the cost of electricity from Empire. Of that, about $70,000 a month will be paid to the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) for transmission fees. Empire will receive $21,000 a month for its side of the electric substations.
Rauch said the fees should remain fairly steady over the 10-year agreement with Empire unless a new substation has to be built or an additional transformer added at one of the substations.
The first payment on the new rate agreement negotiated with Empire, which will include higher charges over the next two years to cover the cost of new generating plants, will start with next month's billing.
Council members agreed to move $20,000 from a contingency fund for capital proejcts into the fund for South Park. Pyle said a mower had to be replaced. Bids had been taken and the city planned to spend $19,835.79 with Larson Farm and Lawn in Freistatt for a 72-inch John Deere 1545 mower. Delivery was expected in two weeks.