FD City Council meets Monday

The Fort Dodge City Council will launch its 2013 work on Monday with budgeting and the potential creation of a second Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District.

The council meeting will begin at 4 p.m. in the Municipal Building with a budgeting session. The elected officials will review proposed spending plans for the police and fire departments as they continue to work on the 2013-2014 budget. That budget is for the fiscal year that begins July 1, but state law requires it to be completed by mid-March.

The regular council business meeting will begin at 5 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

The major item to be addressed during that session is the proposed creation of the Commerce Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District along Fifth Avenue South.

A Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District is an area in which property owners pay an extra tax to finance improvements within the district.

Fort Dodge already has a such a district downtown.

The proposed district would extend along Fifth Avenue South from about 21st Street to the eastern city limits.

It would encompass 488 acres, according to a report to the council written by Angela Torres, the associate city planner.

She added that the district includes more than $101 million worth of property.

Depending upon their location,, some property owners would pay 75 cents per $1,000 of taxable value, while others would pay 30 cents per $1,000 of taxable value.

Torres wrote that those tax rates would generate about $70,000 a year.

That money would be spent on landscape maintenance, expansion of streetscaping and corridor improvements, attracting new businesses, completing long term improvement projects, and supporting existing businesses.

A district board of directors would control the money.

Fort Dodge Memorial Park Cemetery at Fifth Avenue South and 32nd Street; New Covenant Christian Church, 3318 Fifth Ave. S.; and agricultural land would be exempt from the taxes.

Petitions requesting the district have been signed by 27.9 percent of property owners there, representing 28.7 percent of the total assessed value of all property in the district.

The council will not take action to establish the district Monday. Instead, it will vote to receive the petitions and immediately forward them to the city’s Plan and Zoning Commission.

The proposed new district has been planned since late 2011, and two public meetings have been held to discuss it.