Sheldon, Iowa — The Capital Improvement plan for the next five years was approved by the Sheldon City Council at their December 2nd meeting. Two residents commented during a public hearing on the plan which projects the use of three million, eight hundred thousand dollars in TIF funding for a proposed new events center. Bob Engel told the council that he is not opposed to the events center, but he also believes in living within our means. He questioned whether or not this use of TIF would generate property taxes. He said that his property taxes have increased 38 percent over the past four years. And he also stated that the project deserves a vote by the taxpayers.
Steve Collen stated that tax increment financing has been used to develop the land in the Sheldon Crossing area and taxes on new homes would pay that back. But, he asked where the money would come from to pay back the TIF funds used for the events center. He wants the council to look long and hard at bids for the project and perhaps should scale it down.
After the public hearing City Manager Scott Wynja pointed out that all the projects included in the five-year plan are just projections. They are only a general guideline for future years. All of them will be subject to the budget process and final action by the council.
In other matters, council member Fonkert said several people had approached him about why the plows had not done a better job of clearing the streets. Public Works Director Todd Uhl explained that when it snows during the day the snow is packed on the streets, their plows do not have downward pressure to pick up this packed snow. He said the crews are now working on this project. Council member Zach Sawyer followed this with praise for the city crews. He said that when a recent storm began, the Sheldon plows were out clearing snow before either the county or state plows began.
Wednesday was the final council meeting for Ron Rensink who has served as a council member for twelve years. After receiving recognition and thanks from Mayor Meendering, Rensink said, “I feel pretty proud of what has been accomplished in the city”, and voiced his continued support for the Tax Increment Financing program, which he said was never abused and was always used in the best interest of the city. Earlier in the meeting Rensink had suggested that in the future the council consider creating a “splash-pad” in the city park for the little kids. He said this would be a great asset for the city park and would be a low-maintenance feature that families with young children would enjoy.
The City’s 5-Year Capital Improvement plan can be viewed here.