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City Council approves TIF appropriations

November 20, 2018

by BILL SHEA – Daily Freeman-Journal

A developer planning two apartment buildings and other housing east of Van Diest Medical Center may receive up to $2 million in financial assistance from Webster City.

That money for developer Kenyon Hill Ridge LLC would come from tax increment financing, which occurs when increased property tax revenue in a desiginated area is set aside to be reinvested in that area.

The City Council on Monday took an early step toward making that possible by adding the site of the apartments and new homes to the Red Bull Division Urban Renewal Area. Councilman Brian Miller was absent from the otherwise unanimous vote.

No written or verbal objections to the proposal were received during a public hearing held by the council Monday evening.

Urban renewal areas are the zones in which tax increment financing is offered. The site of the planned new housing is in an urban renewal area named for nearby Red Bull Division Drive, which is named after an Iowa Army National Guard unit.

The tax increment financing arrangement for the housing will be in place for 18 years, said Karla Wetzler, the city’s planning director.

She said the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors and the Webster City Community School District Board of Education are both in favor of the plan.

When tax increment financing is used to support housing projects, an amount equal to 40.58 percent of the funds committed to the project must be set aside to support housing for people with low to moderate incomes. With up to $2 million proposed for the Kenyon Hill Ridge project, that means $811,600 must go toward low to moderate income housing.

In a related matter, the council scheduled a public hearing on a development agreement with Kenyon Hill Ridge LLC for 5:35 p.m. Dec. 3 in the Municipal Building, 400 Second St.

The site of the proposed housing is on 15 acres between Van Diest Medical Center and Edgewood Drive. Some work on streets and underground utilities needed for the apartments is already underway. The plan calls for extending Fair Meadow Drive to Edgewood Drive and building two new streets.

The housing proposal was first introduced in May by Green Stream Homes of Iowa LLC, based in Des Moines. That plan includes two three-story apartment buildings, 64 duplexes and an independent living facility for senior citizens.

When the proposal was first introduced, a handful of Edgewood Drive residents objected to it. They argued that, among other things, the apartment buildings would increase traffic in the area and decrease the property values of their homes. However, none of those residents addressed the council Monday.

Last modified: November 20, 2018

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