Cass Supervisors approve paying of Valley Business Park property loan


March 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Wednesday) approved the renewal of $40,000 per year funding for Fiscal years 2014 through 2018, for the Valley Business Park loan. The funds are payable out of the Local Option Sales Tax fund in Cass County. Audubon County has already agreed to the continuation of their payments. The process to spur economic development in the area began in 2003.

A 28-E agreement was entered into, with the Board of Supervisors in both counties making a formal commitment of $50,000 per year for five-years, to develop the area. The CABEDA (or, Cass-Audubon Business Economic Development Agreement) Board, which is comprised of representatives from both Counties and local economic development officials, agreed to purchase 149 acres of land at a cost of $1-million, in March, 2007.  Cass County Supervisor Duane McFadden said in November 2006, the counties agreed to share in paying on a loan for the purchase of the land.

McFadden says the loan was later rewritten, so the interest rate was reduced from 6.25-percent to 3.95-percent, which he says has made a “big difference” on their payments last year. It means an additional $4,000 each year can be made toward the payments. McFadden says at one point they had a serious prospect for the land, but then the economy tanked. Still, he says efforts persist to market the area. Cass-Atlantic Development Corporation (CADCO) Executive Director Russell Joyce echoed McFadden’s statement, and said while they continue to seek businesses for the area, the land is being rented out to local farmers, which is bringing in much needed revenue. He says the amount of rent payments they receive has nearly tripled since it was purchased, and the value of the land itself is nearly double what it was purchased for in 2007.

In other business, the Cass County Board of Supervisors approved a two-percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Child Support Recovery employees, which is covered under the Intergovernmental Cooperative Reimbursement Agreement between the County and Dept. of Human Services. They also approved the hiring of Cory Kirchhoff for the Secondary Roads Department, for an Operator 1 position at the Atlantic office. Engineer Charles Marker said there were 50 applicants for the position. Six of the applicants were interviewed, with Kirchhoff being well qualified and having met all the requirements, according to Marker. The Board also received two bids for sanitation and recycling services at the courthouse. They approved a lower bid of $100 per month from Cook Sanitation of Atlantic, effective April 1st.