Supervisors hear requests for enterprise zones
Adam Plagge, Fairfield Economic Development Association executive director, described two requests for enterprise zone applications at Monday’s Jefferson County Board of Supervisors meeting.
Emily Kelly and Don Hoelting, neither one present at the meeting, have requested applications for housing to be built in enterprise zones.
“The county can designate up to 10 percent of its area as enterprise zones,” said Plagge. “A county commission makes a recommendation about the zones and an applicant can apply for benefits.”
Developers and contractors building or rehabilitating housing in an established enterprise zone may be eligible to receive certain state tax incentives, according to the Iowa Economic Development website.
Kelly is proposing to build two modular duplex homes, accommodating four households, on two acres by the old hospital, now SunnyBrook Living Care Center on Highland Avenue.
“It’s between Adams Avenue and Madison Avenue, with frontage on Adams,” said Plagge. “The benefit of applying for enterprise zone is she can receive a rebate on some construction costs and taxes.”
The area Hoelting is applying for an enterprise zone is between 14th and 17th streets, and Jackson Avenue and Burlington Avenue, said Plagge.
“He doesn’t have any building plans, yet,” said Plagge.
County assistant attorney Pat McAvan said a lot of enterprise zones are speculative in nature.
Supervisors also heard an Abingdon resident request the vacating of a street, and listened to Jerry Leonard describe a subdivision for Leonard’s Lanes.
County engineer Scott Cline said he’d talked with other property owners along Cross Street in Abingdon, and everyone was OK with the county abandoning the street as it was not used as a street anyway and this action could help clear up boundary lines.
McAvan said it’s easier to vacate a block at a time than bits and pieces of a street.
“If adjoining property owners are properly notified, it could be accomplished in about a month,” said McAvan.
He said he would review the platted streets and alleys and send notices.
Supervisor Chairman Dick Reed said he’d like to take the opportunity to enforce cleanup of some of the adjoining properties, as there have been abandoned vehicles and other junk in the yards.
“I won’t approve the street vacation until some of those properties are cleaned up,” said Reed.
For Leonard’s Lanes subdivision, Reed said Leonard had bought 40 acres off Glasgow Road, built one home and moved another home there. After some discussion, Reed said a resolution approved by the supervisors was needed, but it wasn’t on Monday’s agenda.
The supervisors reviewed the county’s 2015 construction plan and a five-year plan.
“Each year, we consider a five-year plan,” said Reed.
Cline said the plan includes re-doing the intersections for Salina Road at Pleasant Plain Road and Pleasant Plain Road at 185th Street.
“It doesn’t have anything in here about Nutmeg or Osage avenues, so we would need to amend the plan to include them,” said Cline.
Nutmeg Avenue is considered being upgraded and paved to accommodate anticipated semi-trailer traffic for the proposed Heartland Co-op grain storage
facility at Nutmeg and Highway 34. Osage Avenue will receive additional paving for the same reason if funds are available.
The supervisors approved an agreement with Cost Advisory Services for cost allocation services.
“This is a company we’ve worked with 15 to 20 years,” said Reed. “It helps us work on reimbursements from state programs.”
Supervisor Becky Schmitz reported on her committee meetings, from Work Force Development holding a job fair April 24, to the Work Investment Program holding an event for youth and the mental health provider region meeting.
Jefferson County joined with seven other southeast Iowa counties to provide mental health services, to be in compliance with state law.
“More than 20 providers met together with county representatives and described what type of care is provided,” said Schmitz.
And as chairwoman of Jefferson County Safety Committee, Schmitz met with a representative from workman’s compensation about an issue.
Reed met with Doug Anderson last week to discuss Rocky Branch Creek Watershed, and with Jim Grey about refinishing the floors on an upper floor of the courthouse.
For the first time in several weeks, Heartland Co-op issues were not on the supervisors meeting agenda, but that didn’t stop about a dozen people from congregating in the courthouse lobby and signing petitions to present to the supervisors concerning the proposed grain elevator facility.
Public comments at supervisors meetings are near the end of the weekly agenda, and though Monday’s meeting was about an hour, only two people from the lobby entered the meeting late to wait for the public comment time. Ron Hauk handed a drawing to supervisors comparing the height of Jefferson County Courthouse to Heartland Co-ops proposed grain elevators.
Audience member Dave Neff thanked the county’s Secondary Road Department for its work this winter.
“I’ve been in Fairfield since 1965, and it was a tough winter,” said Neff. “I want to thank Scott [Cline] and the road crew. We had no major incidents this winter and thanks for keeping the roads safe and passable.”