The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Wednesday), voted 4-to 1 in favor of a Resolution giving consent to the City Massena, to exercise Urban Renewal Powers. The dissenting vote came from Board Chair Mark Wedemeyer, who wanted the CAM School District to give its blessing on the TIFing of 38 wind turbines located within a two-miles radius of the Massena City Limits, and because he wanted more public input.
Approving the Resolution does not mean the City will be able to institute Tax Increment Financing on the turbines. SWIPCO (Southwest Iowa Planning Council) Executive Director John McCurdy says it does set the ball rolling for future discussion involving officials with the CAM School District, City officials in Massena, the County, and SWIPCO. McCurdy offered to facilitate a meeting of the concerned parties.
Massena Mayor Linda Reinecke and McCurdy plan to appear before the CAM School Board during their meeting next week, to try and iron out the details of where and when such a meeting might take place, and to garner an iron clad position from the District, on how the TIF funds should or should not be used. Supervisors Gaylord Schelling and Mark Wedemeyer stressed the importance of having the CAM School Board’s voice heard on the matter.
Right now, all the Supervisors have is a spoken acknowledgement the CAM School Board is in favor of Massena using TIF monies for their sewer relining and street rehabilitation projects, which are expected to cost in the millions of dollars. In other business, the Board approved motions abating the taxes for Fiscal year 2014 on a parcel of abandoned land owned by the City of Anita, and the FY 2014 taxes owed by the Iowa DOT, for three parcels of land it acquired for a right of way. Both abatements are allowed under Iowa Code.