The Atlantic City Council Wednesday evening, passed a Resolution in support of a Workforce Housing Tax Incentive Program Application being submitted to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IDEA), by the Whitney Group, LLC, for a 16-unit housing project located at the former old Whitney Inn (222 Chestnut St.).
Mark Smith, owner/investor in the project, said beside the State and Historical tax credits the investor group has applied for, the Workforce Housing tax credit, if approved, would allow for a 10-percent tax credit from the State. Those awarded the credit are selected by a type of lottery system, but in order for their application to be considered, the investors must show there is support from the City and the Council for the project and related credit.
The Council also passed a Resolution approving the contract and bonds for the 2016 Street Improvement Project. Snyder and Associates’ Engineer Dave Sturm, said the action was necessary as part of the process of approving the contract with Henningsen Construction. Sturm says there is no definitive start date on the projects at this time. The weather has played a role in any plans to begin in the short term.
The Atlantic City Council received a presentation from Gary Loop, with Engineering Technologies, Incorporated in Omaha, with regard to an electrical system study commissioned for the second and third floors of City Hall. Loop said the study revealed old, outdated equipment that needs to be replaced. It also lacks a fire alarm system, but since the 3rd floor is not being used for public events, there’s no immediate need to install it. The price tag for a complete overhaul of the electrical systems on both floors, including lighting, according to Loop (with a 10% contingency), amounts to $177,000+.
He said the main thing that needs to be done first, is upgrading of the electrical panels and service to bring the building up to Code, which would cost between $113,000 to $114,000. Loop said the improvements could be accomplished in steps, with the priority being getting the building up to Code, by replacing the electrical panels and service. The Code issue involves improper grounding and other matters.
The Council, by a vote of 6-to 1, approved moving forward with the process to re-piping of Bull Creek, between 8th and 9th Streets, where a section of ground covering a storm sewer pipe has collapsed, creating a sink hole. Councilperson Kathy Somers was opposed to replacing the entire length of the pipe over concerns it would violate restrictions set forth by the Corps of Engineers.
The Atlantic City Council also accepted the resignation of At Large Councilman Bob Cord, effective July 20th. In March, Cord announced he would be leaving his seat because he and his wife planned on relocating to Des Moines, but the date of his departure was left open at that time, pending the sale of his home here in Atlantic. His term on the Council was set to expire January 1st, 2018. Mayor Dave Jones said 3rd Ward Councilperson Ashley Hayes expressed an interest in being appointed to the seat, because she intends to purchase a house in Atlantic, but is not yet certain where that will be. It may mean she would move out of the 3rd Ward.
Jones said Hayes would have to resign from her current seat on the Council and fill the At Large seat by appointment. Assuming that’s approved, her seat would then have to be filled by appointment. Regardless of which seat is filled by appointment, the public has 14 days from the date of publication, to file a petition calling for an election. No official motion was made with regard to the filling of Cord’s seat during Wednesday’s meeting.
In his report to the Council, Mayor Dave Jones asked citizens to report to the Cass County Communications Center (243-2204), any delays longer than 10 minutes, caused by a train blocking the main arteries in Atlantic (including Olive and Linn). Police Chief Steve Green will address a letter to the railroad, reminding them of their responsibility as well, to notify the Comm Center if they expect the roads to be blocked more than 10-minutes. Jones said also, the west side of Palm Street will be closed for parking on Saturday, July 23rd, in association with the Cass County Fair. The street closure in necessary to accommodate vehicles pulling trailers to the fairgrounds.
He also reminded property owners to trim tree limbs hanging over sidewalks, to a minimum of seven-feet above the ground. Complaints are coming in about limbs hanging too low, and obstructing pedestrian travel on sidewalks.