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Tama Council looks to Urban Renewal District for Iowa Premium Beef

April 19, 2013
By John Speer - Editor , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Iowa Premium Beef's efforts to reopen the closed beef packing plant in Tama got another boost from the Tama City Council Monday night.

The plant itself and the immediate surrounding grounds have been proposed as the Iowa Premium Beef Urban Renewal Area. Council members voted 4-0 to put the wheels in motion to accomplish this by setting a public hearing on the matter for May 20.

Voting in favor were members Crystal Kaufman, Mike Carnahan, Steve Baier and Kenny McAdoo. Member Robert Tyynismaa was absent.

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If final approval is granted, the tax increment revenue can be used to support the plant renovations.

Prior to establishment of the urban renewal area, both the South Tama School District and Tama County Board of Supervisors must also be consulted.

In addition, the Tama Planning and Zoning Commission must make a recommendation on the proposal to council.

Leaders of Iowa Premium Beef said they plan to employ 950 meatpackers at the Tama plant once it is up and running.

Iowa quality Beef, the last operator, closed the plant in 2004 leaving some 550 without jobs.

The plant has remained closed since.

Iowa Premium Beef recently purchased an adjacent 120-acres from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. It is believed these parcels which are north and east of the plant site would not be part of the urban renewal plan. Instead the area would be limited primarily to the plant building itself.

In other business on Monday the council:

approved amending the current city budget to reflect additional revenue received and added expenses. City Clerk Judy Welch said revenues from tax increment financing and leftover funds from the Tama Sesquicentennial Celebration have resulted in an $18,265 boost in revenues.

Spending for an increased workmen's compensation premium, a wheel loader, additional loans for downtown economic development, new computer software and the channeling of funding for a Veterans Memorial at Oak Hill Cemetery resulted in more expense, she said.

discussed setting the salary for a new police chief and the possibility of advertising the position in place of the previously discussed hiring from within the department's current ranks. Mayor Dan Zimmerman suggested a starting salary of $45,00 with a $1,000 increase after six months of satisfactory work. Retiring Police Chief Dan Wilkens pay will be $49,500 beginning July 1. He plans on leaving the post in mid-July.

approved hiring Loren Willey for summer help for cemetery maintenance and other work.

approved on a 3-1 vote the bids for Tama-Toledo Aquatic Center lawn care: Graff Landscaping - $85 per time (other bid was from NuYard Lawncare and Landscaping -$69 per time; care of downtown Tama planters- NuYard Lawncare and Maintenance $1,699 including supplying cyprus mulch (other bidders were Graff Landscaping $1,900 including wood chips and Ed Hardon $1,500 plus the cost of wood chips); lawncare for properties unmowed: Danny Schuett - $35 per yard (other bid was from NuYard for $34.) Council member Kenny McAdoo voted no.

heard 2nd District Tama County Supervisor ask for a recommendation of Tama Council member or city official for appointment on the Workforce Development Board. The Iowa Governor makes the choice from two recommendations, Jordan said.

approved tax abatements for two new homes in he Indian Hills Addition owned by Robert and Mary Buresh and Andy and Ellen Moran.

set a hearing on the sale of a city-owned Indian Hills lot to Luke Squiers contingent upon his successful bid for a state-owned home on US.S. 30.

heard a report on radio water readers from John Lloyd.

approved a section of the Tam a Safety Manual concerning blood borne pathogens policy.



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