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Housing location options sought for IPB employees

July 15, 2014
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

A second West Des Moines development company's representative was back before the Tama City Council Monday night seeking an option on a city-owned land on the northwest side of the Hills Addition.

Bob Rafferty, Newbury Living, told council members the company wants an option on the property on West 14th Street, west of Sesame Drive to building a 28-unit family housing project.

Council members agreed to hold a public hearing for a possible property option on Aug. 4.

Article Photos

Tama City Council (l-r) Steve Baier, Crystal Kaufman, Mayor Dan Zimmerman, Doug Ray, Mike Carnahan, Kenny Mc Adoo, City Attorney Dan Rathjen, City Clerk Judy Welch
News-Herald file

Frank Levy, also with Newbury Living, had brought a similar proposal to the council on June 2 to provide what he described as "housing for working families" which is expected to be needed with the expected opening of the Iowa Premium Beef plant in Tama.

The indian Hills site poses a problem with set back from a possible new city well site, Rafferty acknowledged.

Rafferty also told the council Newbury Living was seeking an option on the former South Tama Primary School site on State Street (U.S. Highway 63) in Tama and on a property in Toledo. He said his company intends to apply for a Community Development Block Grant to aid in paying construction costs. This application must be filed in mid-August and said, "We are concerned about timing."

Rafferty said what he called a "parallel option" would give the company a better chance of securing grant approval.

He said the plan would result in only one property site selected in Tama.

Either location would see a mix of two and three bedroom apartments. The size of the school parcel would reduce the number of units allowable to 27, he said.

Iowa Premium Beef plans to reopen the former Tama Pack on Tama's east side after an investment of some $45 million in plant improvements which are currently underway.

Employment is expected to be at about 600.

The packing plant has bene shuttered for 10 years after two different operators took it over and operated it briefly after it was closed by meat packing giant IPB in 1999.

Set Hearing On IPB Hike

The council will also conduct a public hearing on March 4 on increasing the amount of the tax increment rebate for Iowa Premium Beef from the previous $3.6 million ot $5.8 million.

The company requested the increase in connection with the construction of a $7.5 million cold storage building which has been added to the project.

By amending the TIF agreement, it means IPB will pay more in property tax but will still be receiving these amounts back in TIF rebates over the 10-year period of the agreement.

Change Coming For Cemetery?

Council members passed 1st reading of an ordinance change Monday night which will cut the time memorial displays may be left in grass areas surrounding monuments at Oak Hill Cemetery by two weeks. Voting in favor were members Steve Baier, Kenny mcAdoo, Mike Carnanhan and doug Ray. Member Crystal Kaufman voted no.

Currently the Memorial Day tributes may be left until June 1.

City Clerk Judy Welch said she had heard from members of the Oak Hill Cemetery Association who objected to the new policy.

The change was proposed because it is said to be difficult to mow grass around the displays and it becomes overgrown.

The council will consider the change agrin at the July 21 regular meeting.

Signs, Not Locks

At Off-Road Vehicle Park

Steve Chyma, president of the Tama County Off Road Vehicle Association, was reported as calling for locks on a gate at the Tama County Off-Road Vehicle Park in Tama. This came following an incident on Sunday, June 29, when the Tama Fire Department and Ambulance Service was summoned to the park.

Flooding from the adjacent Iowa river led to fears for the safety of three out-of-town riders who had not been seen for hours and one of the vehicles was found abandoned.

They were located and found to be safe shortly after emergency personnel arrived.

Chyma was said to propose the locks during the times of flooding or other possible emergency according to Richard Jimenez. He said Chyma had asked him to attend the council meeting because he had another commitment.

Tama Council members said any provision for locking the park would require Department of Natural Resources approval as it governs the operation.

Jimenez and Stuart Eisentrager, Tama street superintendent, told the council a locked gate could be of little value because there are other ways to access the trails.

Signs will be posted to deter use of other park in times of flooding it was decided.

In other business the council:

approved the renewals of a five-year agreement with the Bureau of Indian Affairs for wildfire protection by the Tama Fire Department for the Meskwaki Settlement. The department receives $2,000 annually in terms of the agreement. the fire department is also reimbursed for equipment and other expenses in fighting individual fires.

tabled quotes for central air conditioning for street department offices. Council member steve Baier said the council should look over the offices before a decision is reached.

appointed Adam Andersen as a library board trustee replacing russell Schefcik who retired.

approved payment of $3,000 for the 2014 cemetery stone restoration project to Corsons Company.

learned work is continuing on televising and engineering for the sewer improvement project with bidding expected to be let by mid-winter.r

approved as beer dales permit renewal for Casey's General Store.



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