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Atlantic City Council holds TIF discussion & is asked to be more proactive

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, discussed, but did not take action on a policy addressing Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The Council tabled action on a draft policy during their meeting two weeks ago, because of changes made over the summer by the Iowa Legislature. Councilman Shaun Shouse spoke about one of the changes, which primarily applies to businesses looking to relocate within the State of Iowa.

The City currently does not have a TIF policy in-place for commercial and industrial development. The result has been inconsistencies in how the funds have been awarded, and complaints about how those funds are distributed for some projects and not for others. City Administrator Doug Harris has said without a TIF policy, the use of TIF funds are subject to abuse and waste.

A TIF Task Force put in place by Mayor Dave Jones, met several times with local developers, business leaders and others, to create the draft policy, along with the City Administrator and City Attorney Dave Weiderstein. The Council was asked by local economic development officials last night, to take a more pro-active role in the TIF process, in particular, as it pertains to new housing developments.      Cass/Atlantic Development Corporation (CADCO) President Hal Gronewald said there is a housing shortage in Atlantic, not only in rental properties, but in owner-occupied units.

Gronewald says with federal and state funds becoming harder to come by, it becomes incumbent on the local communities to step up. He says the reality is that potential rentals in relation to current construction costs are not sufficient to attract private capital, without some sort of public assistance. Gronewold said he was pleased to hear the City is getting closer to getting a TIF policy in-place, and he says CADCO has some recommendations they strongly urge the Council to consider, without attaching too many conditions or qualifications. One of the recommendations pertains to tax abatements. He said the City should adopt a uniform policy of tax abatements for both housing and commercial construction.

CADCO also recommends the City seek proposals from outside developers, and devise a credible plan for the city owned property in the 300 block of Walnut Street for some type of downtown housing complex. CADCO says the TIF issue is “Too urgent and pressing to engage in time consuming studies,” and that they are ready to offer as much assistance as necessary.

Humane Society hatches bid to unseat Iowa lawmaker

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican U.S. Representative Steve King of Iowa has little use for the Humane Society, particularly when it comes to laws designed to give calves, pregnant sows and hens a little more freedom on the farm. The organization’s political arm is devoting most of its campaign budget this year — nearly $500,000 so far — to its effort to see that King doesn’t return for a sixth term. King is running against Democrat Christie Vilsack in a district that has become less conservative due to redistricting.

The Humane Society’s ads focus on his votes regarding dogfighting laws while ignoring their disagreements over laws concerning the treatment of farm animals. King’s campaign says the Humane Society is going after him because he’s an effective advocate for farmers.

Atlantic City Council approves Commercial Development Prelim. Plat

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, approved a preliminary plat for Namanny Commercial Development, on the city’s west side. City Administrator Doug Harris said the owners of the property plan to sub-divide the 7.86-acre parcel, which is zone as Light Industrial, into four lots.

Councilman Shaun Shouse, the Councils’ liaison to the P&Z Commission, said the Commission found no problems with the preliminary plat, as proposed, and had recommended the Council approve the plans. He said everything was in ordered that is required for a preliminary plat. There won’t be a lot of infrastructure changes involved in the process at this point, and, he said there are several people interested in developing the parcels when they are sold off.

The actual grading and drainage of the lots won’t happen until a site plan is created for the individual lots.

Man charged with theft of potting soil

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Montgomery County man was charged with 5th degree theft for trying to get a five-finger discount on potting soil. According to Red Oak Police, 48-year-old Dale Leon Sawtelle, of Red Oak, was observed taking multiple bags of potting soil from a business in Red Oak.  The merchandise was valued at $50. Sawtelle allegedly took the bags to his residence, where they were unloaded onto a chair.  In addition to the theft charge, Sawtelle was also taken into custody for Driving While Barred. He was being held in the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center on $2,300 bond.

Wind Advisory issued for the western 1/2 of Iowa Thursday

News, Weather

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

AREA COUNTIES ADDED TO ADVISORY:

CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR-MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR AND RINGGOLD.

410 AM CDT THU OCT 18 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES HAS ISSUED A WIND ADVISORY…WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM CDT THIS EVENING. WINDS WILL INCREASE ACROSS THE AREA AROUND SUNRISE AND REMAIN STRONG AND GUSTY THROUGH THE DAY. THE GUSTY WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO DIMINISH SOME BY SUNSET THIS EVENING.

WEST WINDS OF 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS OF 45 TO 50 MPH ARE EXPECTED. THE STRONG WINDS WILL MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT…ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION. IN ADDITION…LOOSE OUTDOOR OBJECTS MAY BE BLOWN AROUND.

Wind Advisory in effect from 10-a.m today to 7-p.m. for eastern NE & parts of western IA

News, Weather

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNTIES IN IA: MONONA-HARRISON-SHELBY-POTTAWATTAMIE-MILLS-MONTGOMERY-FREMONT-PAGE

345 AM CDT THU OCT 18 2012 – NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE/VALLEY, NE

A WIND ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT TODAY (THURSDAY) FROM 10-AM TO 7-PM.  WINDS WILL INCREASE THIS MORNING AND CONTINUE INTO THE EVENING. NORTHWEST WINDS WILL AVERAGE 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS OF 45 TO 50 MPH EXPECTED.

THE STRONG WINDS WILL MAKING DRIVING DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS BETWEEN 30 TO 39 MPH OR GUSTS BETWEEN 45 TO 57 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT…ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.

Atlantic’s Parallel Taxiway Project gets the “Green light” from FAA

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic has received the “green light” from the F-A-A , to begin the process of building a parallel taxiway at the Atlantic Municipal Airport. City Administrator Doug Harris told the City Council about the good news during their meeting, Wednesday evening. Harris says he received an e-mail last week from the F-A-A informing him of the news. Harris said he was surprised, because everyone thought after the FAA approved side work and grading for the project, that it would be years before the City saw any money for the parallel taxiway. The e-mail however, said the project is “A go,” for Fiscal Year 2013, which according to Harris, means it will go out for bid early next year.

The Airport Improvement Project will be 90-percent paid for through federal funds. That amounts to a little more than $1.04-million. The City picks up the remaining 10-percent of the cost. Funds for the FAA grant come from a tax on the sale of airline tickets. The City had earlier received a federal grant amounting to more than $538, 800, for the grading, paving, marking and lighting of a parallel taxiway.

Suspect in 2011 Audubon Co. fatal crash pleads not guilty to charges

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A south central Iowa man who was extradited from North Dakota to face a vehicular homicide charge in Audubon County, entered a written plea of Not Guilty to the charge Tuesday, in Audubon County District Court. The statement also said 56-year old Kendall Ware, of Lineville, plead not guilty as well, to a charge of Serious Injury by Vehicle. The charges against him were the result of the crash of between an SUV and a pickup in Oct. 2011 near Brayton, that claimed the life of 17-year old Kristopher Crawley, and caused serious injuries to his passenger, 22-year old Jason Rattenborg. Both of the crash victims are from Audubon.Ware, and a passenger in his truck, were also injured.
A report filed by the Iowa State Patrol and cited by the Omaha World-Herald, says Ware had a blood-alcohol content of .205, following the crash, or more than 2½ times the legal limit. During the months since an investigation into the crash was being conducted, Ware fled the area. A warrant was issued for his arrest, and he was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service last week, in North Dakota.

Arrest made in Bluffs home invasion & assault

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Council Bluffs Police say one person is in custody, while two others are still on the run, in connection with a home invasion incident that resulted in injuries to two brothers. According to the Council Bluffs Daily Non Pareil, 30-year old David Bergantzel, was arrested last week on first-degree kidnapping, second-degree kidnapping, and first-degree burglary charges, along with three counts of assault while participating in a felony, two counts of willful injury causing serious injury and going armed with intent. Bergantzel was being held in the Pottawattamie County Jail on $250,000 bond. If convicted on the felony kidnapping charge, he faces a mandatory term of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The charges stem from his alleged role during the incident on the city’s west side on October 5th. Police reports said at the time, that intruders burst through the door of a home owned by 70-year old Marcella Doss, sometime between 7:15-a.m. and 7:30-a.m.  Doss’ sons, 41-year old Rodney,  and 49-year old Raymond, were injured in the attack.

The paper cites court documents that says Rodney Doss heard something at the backdoor of the residence and assumed it was his dog. As he walked toward the door, it was kicked in, and a man pointed a gun at his face.  The weapon turned out to be a pellet gun.  All three intruders wore ski masks. One of them repeatedly shot Rodney Doss with the pellet gun.  Rodney attempted to hold the men off at his mother’s bedroom door, before he was tackled to the ground. Once on the ground, he was hit with a crowbar and a jack handle. During the fight however, he was able to pull the ski mask off of one of the men before suffering a wound to his head from the crowbar.

After he was treated at the hospital. Doss identified Bergantzel as one of the suspects, in a photo lineup. He also said the man was the same one who used the crowbar against him. Bergantzel is also alleged to have struck Raymond Doss with the crowbar causing an open wound on his shoulder and two injured ankles.

Police say the incident remains under investigation.

Western Iowa “earthlodge” designated a National Historic Landmark

News

October 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa is now home to a newly-designated National Historic Landmark, but you can’t see it. “The Davis Oriole Earthlodge Site” is estimated to be nearly a thousand years old — and it’s buried under a few feet of Iowa soil. Jerad Getter, director of the Mills County Conservation Board, says it’s in a park, near the town of Pacific Junction. “You cannot see anything from the site,” Getter says. “It’s all underground. The common person driving by will not know what it is. It doesn’t look any different than the rest of the ground. It’s the significance that’s underground.” Getter says what’s underground was a home that was part of a village.

“An earthlodge is basically a lodge that was built above ground. It was basically built with sticks, but it had earth over it and grass was growing on top of it,” Getter says. “So it’s like a domed house.” Experts who’ve examined the site estimate it was inhabited as early as the year 900, and perhaps until the 13-hundreds. Getter says the site won’t be open to the general public. “Since it is an Historical Landmark Site, they don’t want people to know where exactly it’s at so people aren’t out there with their shovels, digging,” Getter says. “But there will be a plaque that goes up in the office here.” His office is in Pony Creek Park.

The U.S. Department of the Interior describes “The Davis Oriole Earthlodge Site” as an outstanding example of the “physical features of lodge habitations” that were built across the Great Plains. The National Park Service will now work with local officials to develop a plan for preserving the site. An aboveground replica of the Earthlodge has been built in nearby Glenwood, across the street from the Mills County Museum. Artifacts collected in the area by an amateur archeologist are on display at the museum.

At the time the now-buried Davis Oriole Earthlodge Site was constructed, archaeologists say a group of Native Americans were living on the east and west sides of the Missouri River basin, constructing hundreds of earthlodges that were part of thriving communities where farming and buffalo hunting were the main occupations.

(Radio Iowa)