Randolph leaders approve TIF plan

Randolph — The City Council is going ahead with TIF financing for a community improvement project.

Council members signed papers for the Tax Increment Financing project; looked at ways to make improvements at the Wastewater Treatment Facility and accepted the monthly police report at the Dec. 7 City Council meeting.

Council members held a public hearing before approving a Redevelopment Plan Amendment and Cost Benefit Analysis for the city’s first TIF project.

The application for the TIF project submitted by Jason and Kristi Schmit involving the construction of a house on West Wayne Street had been approved by Council members during the November council meeting.

Members of the Randolph Planning Commission had already reviewed the application for the TIF project and had placed their approval on the project.

During a second meeting the Planning Commission they voted to approve the Amendment and the Cost Benefit Analysis for the TIF project, according to Josh Rayford, Chairman of the Commission.

“Everyone is happy with it and wants to move ahead with this project,” Rayford said. “The benefit of the long term project will outweigh the cost.”

Schmit had submitted a proposal for the redevelopment of a site which includes the demolition of existing structures and the construction of a single family dwelling and associated improvements at the location of the E1/2 of Lot 14, Lot 15, Block 12, Original Town of Randolph.

Approximately $25,000 of the estimated total cost of around $140,000 for the project will be financed with proceeds from TIF indebtedness. The balance will be paid by Schmit, who is the redeveloper.

The project will create a long term benefit and substantial increase in property taxes to the city and other local taxing entities.

The property in the project will maintain the base property valuation with taxes being paid to all taxing entities. The increase in value and resulting taxes, which will be paid by Schmit, will be accounted for separately and be used to pay off debt incurred for the redevelopment project. At the end of the time period of 15 years the tax entities will benefit from the increase in valuation on the improved property and the increase in taxes.

Roger Protzman, Project Engineer for JEO Consulting Group in Norfolk, presented a Wastewater Treatment Facility Report to council members.

A couple of changes had been made on an alternative plan for updating the sewer system which included replacing the man holes, changes with the lift station and mechanical treatment plants along with several other options.

Lagoons for the sewer system were also discussed. With the changes, the alternative ended up with a cost right at $3.9 million, according to Protzman.

“That seemed a little high for a community like this,” Protzman said.

Another alternative, after some additional adjustments were made, included a cost of $1.8 million. New Federal regulations could also affect the plan and the cost, Protzman said.

Council members want to check on grants that could be available to help pay for the project.

“The city has been getting very good water compliance reports. That is good,” Protzman said. “The whole project will take several years to complete. Even after the study has been completed, it could be another three years.”

Mayor Duane Schutt and council members agreed something will need to be done at some point, but they want to take at least two months to review the report before further discussion takes place.

“We can’t forget this, but it will take a little while to look at all of the information,” Councilman Brad Bargstadt said.

“We know we will have to do something. This is going to be an issue,” Schutt said. “We will discuss it after we take time to look at it.”

Chief of Police Todd Greiner presented his monthly activity report for November and was available to answer any questions.

Two written warnings along with three verbal warnings were issued during November.

Two accidents were covered, two animal complaints were taken care of, one investigation was underway, three welfare checks were completed, an assist was given to another agency, traffic control was provided and one death notification was handled. Greiner also assisted with school traffic.

The Lower Elkhorn NRD tree grant was approved and can be implemented next spring, said Economic Development Director Gary Van Meter.

“The trees are available and the community welcome signs will be going up in the spring,” Van Meter said.

A large number of residents have signed up for the “Christmas Lighting Discount” council members had agreed to provide, according to Janet Groen, who filled in for City Administer Kelsey Backer at the council meeting. The first 100 kilowatts of their January bill, which is due in February, will get a discount.

The City Office has now received a couple of inquiries on the patrol car advertised for sale.

Schutt thanked Groen for filling in for City Administrator Kelsey Backer who is currently on maternity leave.

“Janet has been doing a great job,” Schutt said. “Kelsey has come in a couple of times and she will spend a week in the office and then be off for the completion of her leave.”