New Sheldon Community Park Taking Shape

city councilSheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon City Council has approved the scope of a preliminary design for the new community park. RDG Planning and Design will develop preliminary plans for the proposed Event Center as well as the Park Portal and access drive, a parking lot and bus drop-off area. The proposed hard surface parking area would accommodate sixty to eighty cars with additional overflow parking for 150 stalls. There would also be a drop-off area for cars and a minimum of two school buses. RDG will also develop landscaping plans that include sidewalks, decks, lighting, earthwork and planting concepts.

An RDG representative will meet with the Park Board at noon and the City Council at 4:30, both on April 15th. The public is always welcome to attend these meetings, but there will also be a meeting on the evening of April 15th when the public will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide input. After that RDG would proceed with the details of the Preliminary Design which is expected to be completed in time for a meeting of the Park Board at noon on July 17th and the City Council at 4:30 that same day. This will include the proposed budget and construction budget, along with a presentation from a third party estimator.

Funding for the Events Center will probably come from Tax Increment Financing. Council Member Ron Rensink commented that everyone he has talked to has positive comments about the new park area. However, there have been comments that this project is not eligible for TIF financing. Rensink said he is offended by those comments because the City has always acted in the best interest of Sheldon’s citizens, and that includes the proper use of these funds.

In other business, the Council addressed the amended and restated Urban Renewal Plan. City Manager Scott Wynja explained that this review is dictated by legislative changes to be sure that all legal parameters are followed in the way the City uses TIF. He said that the City works with attorneys who specialize in these matters. The Iowa Statutes require that the City Council must consult with all affected taxing entities concerning the urban renewal plan and also hold a public hearing. The City has set the consultation meeting for April 8th and will hold the public hearing May 5th at 4:30 p.m.

The Council also approved paying off the note which helped finance the Aquatic Center. By paying off the loan six years early the City is saving $210,000.

The Council also changed the date of the first meeting in May. Because of conflicts on the regular meeting date of May 6th, that meeting will be held on May 5th at 4:30 pm.

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