by Julie Ann Madden
There are platting changes in the Akron Business Park and in the Fletcher Estate land just south of the Akron city limits.
On Nov. 27, both the Akron Planning & Zoning Board and the Akron City Council met.
The Planning & Zoning Board took two actions, recommending the council approve two platting changes.
Akron Business Park
The first was platting a lot, effectively beginning the Second Addition of the Akron Business Park.
The lot sets to the east of Lot 3 and south of Lot 2 in the Akron Business Park’s First Addition and runs along Progress Avenue.
“The purpose is to open space to attract businesses and to expand the Business Park,” said City Attorney David Stuart.
In addition, the Akron councilors have applied for financial assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development to create a revolving loan to serve local business needs and to expand and develop the Akron Business Park.
City officials are planning to build a spec building in an area consisting of Lot 3 in the First Addition and Lot 1 in the Second Addition, which together total 2.3 acres.
Akron Planning Director Gene Waag made the motion to recommend accepting the platting change and Board Member Mike Colt seconded it. The vote was 3-0 with Board Member Jim Black absent.
At the Akron City Council meeting, a public hearing was held. Then Councilor Bob Frerichs made the motion to authorize platting of Lot 1 and Councilor Barbara Johnson seconded it. The vote was unanimous.
Next, Councilor Chad Ericson made a motion to accept and approve the Lot 1 plat and Councilor Sharon Frerichs seconded it. The vote was unanimous.
Finally, Sharon Frerichs made a motion authorizing Stuart to file a dedication for the Second Addition of the Akron Business Park and Johnson seconded it. The vote was unanimous.
Fletcher Estate/Trust Lands
Attorney Mat Trotzig brought a platting change on land that lies adjacent to the Akron’s southern boundary.
Although these lands are actually rural Plymouth County property, any real estate platting changes within 2 miles of the city limits must be brought before the city council as well as county supervisors.
The platting change would separate two residences on 3.909 acres, at 16782 Highway 12 and 13537 170th St. respectively, from the 289.322 acres of farm land contained in the Naomi Fletcher Estate and Elmo Fletcher Trust.
The farm land was recently bought at private auction by Kevin DeRocher of Akron.
Planning & Zoning Chairman Lyle Ostermyer made the motion to recommend approving the platting change and Planning Director Gene Waag seconded it. The vote was 3-0.
At the council meeting, Johnson made the motion to accept and approve this Fletcher Addition Minor Subdivision and Bob Frerichs seconded it. The vote was unanimous.
Other Council Business
In other business, the Council:
• Was given an update on an employee health insurance proposal being submitted by Bill Brown of Akron. Due to some delays, the final proposal will be presented at the Dec. 10 council meeting.
• Voiced complaints over the poor quality of the last Hazard Mitigation Plan, which was conducted by Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council (SIMPCO). Johnson and Sharon Frerichs submitted many corrections for the revision currently underway. City Clerk Nicolle DeRocher will forward the corrections to SIMPCO officials. This plan is necessary in the event that the City of Akron would have a disaster and need to apply for state and federal disaster aid and/or grants.
• Unanimously approved the Annual Financial Report.
According to DeRocher, some figures in the report have increased because the Akron Care Center’s finances are now included in this report. The Care Center’s are grouped into the city’s Charges for Fees & Services and amounts to $3.36 million.
“Other than that, everything was pretty much in line with where we have been, and all the these figures came from a grouping report from our auditors according to our 2011-2012 audit,” DeRocher explained.
The council will receive hard copies of the 2011-2012 Audit soon.
Councilor Denise Loutsch-Beitelspacher made the motion to approve the Annual Financial Report and Johnson seconded it. The vote was unanimous.
• Learned that DeRocher and Public Works Director Gary Horton completed the brand new Urban Renewal Report, which accounts for the city’s Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) Districts.
To summarize this report, each individual TIF account is separated and broken down into its own taxing districts.
For example, Akron has three TIF Districts: the Akron Downtown TIF District, Portlandville Heights Original TIF District and the Portlandville Heights Amended TIF District. Then Portlandville Heights Amended TIF District has three taxing districts. Within each TIF District, each project has to be reported and each TIF’s debts have to be individually reported.
It was noted that $1.6 million of Akron Care Center Inc. debt was certified as TIF debt on Nov. 26.
Johnson made a motion to accept the Urban Renewal Report and Loutsch-Beitelspacher seconded it. The vote was unanimous.
• Decided not to have a second meeting in December ad the fourth Tuesday is Christmas Day. Bills that would normally be approved by the council at this meeting will be reviewed by a couple of councilors.
• Unanimously approved advertising in The Akron Hometowner Christmas issue. Frerichs made the motion and Johnson seconded it.
• Had a report from Johnson, who is the Akron Parks & Recreation council liaison. The board would like to have a riverfront area developed in the future. The area they suggested was south of the boat ramp.
She suggested if the city had land somewhere else it could be swapped with the Farmer’s Coop of Hinton, Akron, Oyens & Le Mars for this land.