County adds clause to Le Mars debt certification

Posted December 11, 2013 at 9:24 pm

by Steve Peterson

Plymouth County supervisors approved debt certification for the City of Le Mars Joint Urban Renewal Board (JURB) fund.

The total is $12,246,158 and will be decertified of $1 million per year for 14 years for a new City of Le Mars Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“I’ve given this quite a bit of thought. I think that there should be a Memorandum of Understanding that Auditor Stacey Feldman and County Attorney Darin Raymond have regarding this and copies of the Wells Enterprises and Deans Foods sewage treatment contracts that the city of Le Mars has put together. I don’t have any misgivings about how this is laid out. This goes on for 14 years, and every one on this board (supervisors) will be gone and every one of the Le Mars councilors will be gone. I want a clear paper trail of how all this came together and how this will be paid off so the taxpayers can be assured where we were coming from,” said Supervisor Craig Anderson.

Anderson’s fellow supervisors agreed with that clause.

In another vote Plymouth County Joint Urban Renewal debt de-certification of $311,953 was approved by a unanimous vote.

Supervisors approved the summary of the state required Joint Urban Renewal reporting form in an unanimous vote.

“That is good because it requires the revenue to be spent where the TIF is,” said Supervisor Don Kass.

Joint Urban Renewal Board Meeting (JURB)

Supervisors received a report on JURB meeting Nov. 18.

The total TIF to be de-certified by the county this fiscal year is $311,953, which was approved by unanimous vote.

Nov. 19 discussion

“I have a philosophical problem when the city of Le Mars did not use the increment finance language of the Tax Increment Finance,” said Supervisor Don Kass, also a Joint Urban Renewal Board member.

Decertification of TIF debt include sale of interest in Cresent Ridge to the City of Le Mars for $297,500 and sale of lot No. 2 in Le Mars Industrial Park, $14,452 to the City of Le Mars.

“It’s the figures for the City of Le Mars TIF Certifications we have to pro-rate for the number of months we have left in the TIF for the Le Mars Waste Water Treatment Plant, which is something the DNR required of the city. It was inappropriate for the city to put the final five years in debt when they knew they weren’t going to pay for it (the wastewater treatment plant) from the debt. This gives them a security blanket in case something goes wrong with Wells or Deans. You would still have a source of revenue,” said Supervisor Don Kass.

In other business

The Plymouth County Supervisors’ meeting schedule is expected to be altered in December. Regular meetings will be held through Dec. 17 at 9:30 a.m. at the first floor boardroom of the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars. There will be no meeting Dec. 24. There may be a meeting if needed Dec. 30. The annual reorganization meeting will be at 9:30 a.m., Jan. 2. Meetings are open to the public.

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