At the November 6 Preston City Council meeting the final language for a development agreement for the North Street Project was approved unanimously.
The agreement with Andrew Bunge, Bunge Construction, Inc., requires Bunge to purchase the property owned by Jerome McCallson. There is a purchase agreement with McCallson and it can be executed with the approval of the development agreement. Bunge is required to raze existing structures on the McCallson property and haul to a landfill before July 1, 2018. Bunge said, if the weather permits, he hopes to have those structures removed later this fall. Bunge agrees to construct a two unit townhouse on the property prior to July 2023.
Bunge will purchase city owned property in the project area for $1 and agrees to build a minimum of four housing units, each a minimum of 950 square feet, by July 2023.
Bunge said he intends to build a minimum of six units total. The units will be built on a slab, no basements. He wants the freedom to build first where he has interest from a customer. The property from the city will go on the property tax rolls next year. Bunge will be responsible for maintenance of the property (mowing grass) during the development period.
Britton Assessment Hearing
A public hearing was held on the deferred assessment for the Twenty-14 project on a parcel now owned by Neil and Linda Britton. The assessment on the parcel is $9,516.83. The parcel was sold to the couple in December 2015. The empty lot was subdivided off property owned by Robert and Sandy Benson. City Administrator Joe Hoffman explained that the division of the property triggered the ability for the city to get the assessment. The assessment normally would have been due upon sale of the property, but Britton requested prior to the sale to allow the assessment to be paid over 15 years. This was approved at the time by the council.
The assessment was not on the 2017 property tax statement. Britton brought this to the city’s attention. The county asked that the property be reassessed to allow the payments over 15 years.
The property benefits from the reconstruction of Matthew St. and a new water main. The couple was not present for the hearing. After considerable discussion, a motion was made to adopt a resolution adopting the assessment roll for the Twenty-14 street and utility improvements which will allow the special assessment on the Britton property to be paid in equal installments over a period of 15 years. The interest rate will be 3.76% and will be added on the entire assessment as of the date of this resolution. The resolution was approved with councilmen Robert Maust and David Collett abstaining. Maust explained he was opposed to the terms set forth in the resolution. He felt interest should begin accruing from the point of sale of the property.
Other business in brief
• Dean Solberg, chairman of the Preston Dairy and Farm Association Board, was present to discuss the purchase of the former location of Dairy and Farm (304 Fillmore St. E). The D & F board has requested an increase in the purchase price from $100,000 to $115,000. The increase was do to clean-up expenses and an uncertainty as to how much will be reimbursed by the state Agricultural Fund. Solberg said there really are many unknowns, that is the problem. Mayor Kurt Reicks felt they need more information. D & F may get reimbursed up to 80 or 90% of their expenses for clean-up, but there is no guarantee. Solberg said it is getting to be a pretty big burden. He maintained, “Until we get a clean bill of health on the whole project, we won’t know.”
Hoffman said we won’t do anything until we get the “no association” letter from the state Department of Agriculture. The letter may come by the end of November. The city expects to pay $1,000 for the production of the letter. The issue was tabled and will likely be addressed again at the December 4 meeting.
• A variance was approved for Jon and Jenni Whitney (Spring St. NW). They plan to remove an existing single car attached garage and build a two car garage with access to Franklin St. The variance allows for a 19-foot setback from the street (20 foot required) and a 10-foot alley setback (20 foot required). The Planning Commission recommended approval following a public hearing. Councilwoman Holly Zuck commented that the arrangement will actually make it easier for snow removal.
A motion approving a new driveway approach on Franklin St. was also approved.
• The updated Fillmore County All-Hazard Mitigation Plan was adopted. This allows the city to remain eligible for FEMA reimbursements for damages from natural disasters. It can also get access to funds for mitigation activities, like the removal of homes from the floodplain.
• A quarter page volunteer thank-you add was approved at a cost of $152.
• The second meeting in November is tentatively set for November 27.