Posts By Tara Ninjas

Jasper Common Council notes: Jasper Council decides to sell three park properties

The Jasper Common Council wants to move forward with the sale of three park properties to replenish the city’s rainy day funds which were used to purchase The Parklands.

The council approved using $1,087,795 from the Rainy Day fund to purchase the property from the Jasper County Club.

The council pushed to sell the Lechner, 30th Street and Truman Road properties. “That’s what we agreed to do,” Councilman Ray Howard said.

City attorney Renee Kabrick said that a public hearing will be held to gauge citizen’s input in regards to those sales.

Council member Tom Schmidt stated that he wanted to see the three park properties sold as soon as possible and the Bockelman property should be looked at being sold as well.

Mayor Seitz said that Meyer Distributing has expressed an interest in the land due to its close proximity to their existing property and facilities.

In regards to opening up The Parklands for the public, Kabrick stated the park board is working through some issues with vehicle parking and safety before opening the new park. “While that [opening The Parklands] might seem to be a simple process,” Kabrick said. “It’s not. There is just a lot to be considered.”

Kabrick said they may have a parking resolution that would allow the park to be opened for the summer. “We don’t want to open it too soon and jeopardize the city as far as liability or the users as far as safety is concerned,” she said.

Kabrick also informed the council that the Greater Jasper School Board has been provided with the interlocal agreement and purchase agreement for the acreage of The Parklands they agreed they would like to purchase. The school board meets Monday, April 28 at 7 p.m. and no decision is expected until then.

Mayor Seitz and Kabrick also announced that there is significant interest in the Jasper Cabinet property from several potential buyers and developers. But, the names of the entities would not be revealed due to confidentiality. Mayor Seitz told councilman Schmidt that the interest was well established.

Also in the meeting, the council voted to approve substantial compliance by Kimball Hospitality and Kimball Office on their previous tax abatement grants by the city. Both subsidiaries have additional paperwork or amendments to their numbers that will be submitted to continue to support their assertion that they are in compliance with the terms of the tax abatements.

A discrepancy arose when the council examined the amount of pay that Stens Corporation submitted in support of their tax abatement. Stens new Vice President of Operations made a presentation to the council and stated that the company continues to grow even though they have only added 79 of 98 promised positions since the tax abatement was granted. He said that they had a good winter season and will continue to add employees throughout the coming months until their winter slow period.

The council decided to table the vote on whether or not Stens is in compliance until a reconciliation can be made between the city and the company about the dollar amount of the payroll of the added employees.

The council also passed Resolution 2014-5 declaring a tax abatement schedule for Cash Waggner & Associates for the 13th Street former JOFCO building. Eric Schue of Bingham Greenbaum and Doll represented the company and Nathan Waggner, one of the companies owners was in attendance and addressed the council as well. Here is a story about their plans.

Utility General Manager Bud Hauersperger made his presentation to the council of the Monday night Utility Service Board meeting and recapped the decision by Jay Catasein of Jasper Clean Energy to submit a 60-day notice of his intent to pull out of further development of the Jasper Power Plant to burn biomass and natural gas to generate electricity.