Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon City Council has approved tax increment financing for Ag Partners’ new feed mill construction.
The project is expected to generate ten new jobs. The council also heard a report from O’Brien County Development Director Kiana Johnson. She said the biggest tool they have for aiding development is the Revolving Loan Fund. This fund, created in 1991 has built a lending pool of over two million dollars. She reported that the fund has assisted projects in Sheldon totaling $863,947. She summarized the progress of development projects in the county with the most recent being the formation of a marketing task force to attract businesses ancillary to Wind Energy Development.
The council also heard from Dave Raak of HTC communications who was there to answer some questions he has received from council members. One of those was why they had not been advised in advance of the recent rate increase. The franchise agreement with the city states that the cable company must advise the council through the Cable TV Committee if there was to be a rate increase. However the Cable TV Committee was dissolved years ago and he apologized for not reporting directly to the council. Raak said they have not had a rate increase since 2011 and the current increase was needed to meet the rising costs of paying for on air TV stations. He said their company pays 1.2 million dollars per year for programs. He also talked about the many improvements HTC has made over the past few years in Sheldon. The most recent is the building of a fiber optic hub located in the area behind the Village Store. They have also built a second fiber optic cable from the west side of Sheldon to the east side of the town. This will provide backup service in the event a cable is cut or damaged.
In other business the council approved a contract with Knife River Midwest of Sioux City for asphalt overlay and other improvements to five city blocks near the downtown area. Knife River submitted the low bid of $226,465.
And the Council voted to approve both a Topographic Survey and Geotechnical Survey in the community park area where the proposed Events Center would be built. City Manager Scott Wynja explained that these surveys are necessary as part of the preliminary design work can be done. Council member Randy Fonkert voted against the surveys expressing the opinion that the city should slow down on the entire project.
Wednesday evening about forty people attended a public meeting to review the updated Community Park Master Plan. We’ll have details about that meeting on Friday’s KIWA newscasts.