Tama City Council members voted 4-0 Monday night, July 14, to meet a West Des Moines housing developer's proposal about half-way.
The company, Newbury Living, wants to apply for a Community Development Block Grant to help finance construction of either a 32 or 27 unit multi-family housing project in Tama. As part of the grant application, the company must have a site commitment. The housing is aimed at an expected influx of employees for the 600-employee Iowa Premium Beef plant which is planned to open here.
One of the grant requirements is at least 51 percent of the residents of the housing must be at 80 percent or less than the median income.
Tama City Council -2014
News-Herald file/John Speer
Meeting in the special session Monday, the council decided to begin a process to take bids on a plot of about four acres of city-owned property on the northwest side of the Indian Hills Addition.
A public hearing to determine a bid date was set for the regular council meeting on July 21. If approved, a bid date will then be chosen which is expected to be Aug. 4. However, Newbury Living only asked for an option to buy the property.
Council members rejected a second proposal from the developer for the city to take possession and restore the former site of the Tama Primary School on State Street (U.S. Highway 63) between 8th and 9th streets.
Newbury living asked the council to consider accepting the property from the south Tama School District and to then spend an estimated $155,000 to restore it so a 27-unit building could be constructed. Through a letter from the law firm of Brick Gentry, also in located in West Des Moines, it was proposed Newbury Living would have an option to purchase this property for $60,000.
Council member Kenny McAdoo urged some consideration of the plan because of its potential economic impact.
Council members said the city had no commitment or contact with the South Tama School Board or administrators concerning the site. They also expressed belief if the city were to enter into an agreement with STC, it would be left with the property and improvement bills if the CDBG was not approved.