The Sheldon City Council needs more information before they can act on a request from AT&T for a change in their tower site lease agreement with the city. The city collects twenty thousand dollars every 25 years on the lease, which has two more 25 year periods left on the agreement. AT&T wants to change this into a perpetual lease with a one time up-front payment of $125,000. City Manager Scott Wynja told the council that he had a few issues with the proposal and the council members agreed. Wynja will try to get some of their questions answered before any action is taken.
In other business, the council approved a TIF request by Deluxe Feeds. They plan to build a new feed mill on their property in the old Sheldon Industrial Park. Deluxe Feeds will get a tax increment financing rebate of 75 percent the first year, sixty percent the second year, 45 percent the third year, thirty percent the fourth year and fifteen percent the fifth and final year of the agreement. SCDC Executive Director Mark Gaul said Deluxe Feeds has agreed to a 1.25 million dollar minimum assessment which would result in an annual tax of $42,000. The new mill will add three to five jobs to their current work force of 37 full time employees.
The Council also discussed how to approach the development of the planned new community park. The City Manager said he is contacting all the members of the community park committee, asking them if they would be willing to serve on a new committee that would help plan and recommend how to proceed. Council members agreed that the first step is to get possession of the borrow pit and get an agreement as to who will be responsible for maintenance of the area. After some discussion the council also agreed that they should get in touch with RDG planning to see if they would be interested in a long range contract to guide the city in this process.
In other business, the Council also agreed to move forward in formulating an agreement with the Sheldon Community Schools for the development and operation of the new recreation facilities near the High School and Middle School. And did not act on a request by several parents to require all moped operators to wear helmets.
The Sheldon School Board and City Council will continue discussions concerning the creation and operation of new sports facilities near the school. The plan is to have three new ball fields. Two of them will be youth softball fields and the third a Middle School Baseball field. There will also be bleachers plus a concession, restroom and storage building. In addition they will have two green space areas which can be used for football practice and soccer fields. This will all be constructed on the land in front of the Middle School, the Boone property which is being purchased by the school, and the former O’Brien County Implement property which the City would deed to the School. The city Council was told at their meeting Wednesday that RDG Planning had estimated the cost between 1.2 and 1.3 million dollars, but it was felt this could be scaled down to $800,000 to one million dollars. The cost would be split fifty-fifty between the City and the School District.
Although a final agreement needs to be worked out, the council was provided a list of preliminary ideas. The School District will be responsible for regular annual maintenance with the City paying part of their cost. The School District and City of Sheldon will each be responsible for field preparation for their activities. Long term maintenance costs would be shared fifty-fifty. Both entities feel that they can work out schedules compatible with their individual activities. It is expected that the new facilities could be ready for use in the Spring of 2014.
In other business Wednesday, the Council read a letter from several Sheldon citizens asking that the City enact an ordinance requiring moped operators to wear helmets. In the letter the parents said they encourage their children to wear helmets, but they felt if the kids knew that they could be stopped by a police officer they would be more willing to wear them.
Council members felt that this should be handled by the parents and also noted that if there was a moped helmet law 16 year old kids would have to wear a helmet while riding a moped, but could legally ride a motorcycle without a helmet.