At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Rick Nordahl, president of the SCDC announced that Curt Strouth who had resigned to take a position at Iowa State Bank had changed his mind and is going to remain in the Development Directors Chair. Nordahl stated that “With Strouth’s passion for economic development, along with his strengths of business attraction and retention-working with downtown preservation efforts and facilitating community partnerships, our community will benefit from his decision to stay with the SCDC”. Mayor Tricia Meendering added…”Sheldon has been very progressive with the Highway 60 development while maintaining the downtown business community, and I look forward to continuing to work with Strouth, building on his tremendous progress and continuing the city’s reputation, ‘Where Families Come First’.” Strouth has been the Community Development Director since December of 2013.
In other business City Manager Scott Wynja reviewed the possible funding plan for the proposed events center. The City has been awarded a Vision Iowa Grant of $840,000. They have already received $965,000 in donations and pledges. This along with money from the Local Option Sales Tax will pay for all but $3,170,000 of the 5.2 million dollar project. It was pointed out that the $5.2-million figure includes not only the building, but all the furnishing such as tables and chairs. It will also cover the cost of water and sewer service to the building, the access road and parking lot.
It has been estimated that the operation of the Events Center could cost the city up to $100,000 a year. Wynja also explained a possible plan for that funding. The two percent increase in the Hotel-Motel tax which was recently approved will provide an estimated $52,000 per year. The city has received a pledge of $22,500 per year for ten years and they could use the Local Option Sales tax for an additional $25,000. In past years the Local Option Sales Tax fund has been making payments on the Community Services Center Renovation Loan. That loan has been paid off, so these funds are now available for the events center.
Council members brought up the question of who would manage the Events Center, and it was decided to start getting information from firms who specialize in such management under a contract with the City to see if this was a feasible approach.
On April 6th at 4:30 pm there will be a Public Hearing on the Authorization of a Loan Agreement and the Issuance of not to Exceed $3,400,000 in General Obligation Capital Loan Notes for the evens center project. At the April 20th council meeting there will be a public hearing on Plans and Specifications and Form of Contract for the project.
In other business, Public Works Director Todd Uhl told the council that the city is lifting the water conservation measure that was put in place in April of 2013. This water watch called for Sheldon residents to voluntarily restrict water use. Uhl said that with the ample ground water this Spring they feel this is no longer necessary. He also added that the City’s well water levels are good and the hardness of the city water should be coming down.