Steps taken to expand urban renewal

The Fort Dodge City Council took the first steps Monday night to expand its urban renewal area to more sites in eastern Fort Dodge.

The council voted unanimously that the area was necessary, and approved the first of three considerations of the ordinance that would create the area.

The urban renewal area will include property of Kemna Auto Fort Dodge at First Avenue South and 25th Street, Wendy’s on Fifth Avenue South and various properties that will be included in what’s known as the East Region Storm Sewer project into the Center City and Industrial Park Urban Renewal Area.

That move will allow the use of tax increment financing money to support projects there.

Tax increment financing occurs when increased property tax revenue from designated areas is reinvested in those areas.

A major revamping of the Kemna Auto Fort Dodge property is planned, while a new Wendy’s restaurant is under construction.

The council will hold a public hearing at its Oct. 28 meeting to discuss specifics of the development agreements with Kemna and Wendy’s. At the hearing the city will also discuss buying property from Kemna for the storm sewer project.

In other business:

The council passed the budget reconciliation for the year ending June 2013 with U.S. Water Services Corporation for the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant was $89,958 under budget, said Aaron Voss, director of Service Delivery and Regional Manager for USW. Voss presented the council with a check for $83,914. The rest of the savings, $6,044, belongs to USW under contract, he said. USW keeps 5 percent for its employees, and donates the rest back to community organizations in Fort Dodge.

The council passed the first reading on an amendment to the water and sewer code. The existing program was out of compliance with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Because of Fort Dodge’s size, it is also required to have an industrial pretreatment program for large users that could have a significant and potentially negative impact on the wastewater treatment plant, said Derek Anderson, of McClure Engineering.