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New development for old motel?

September 4, 2014
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

New life may be in store for the deserted Budget Inn motel property at South Broadway and U.S. Highway 30 in Toledo. Bob Rafferty, attorney for Newbury Living, West Des Moines, reported plans to the Toledo City Council on Monday night, Aug. 25. He said the company had offered $130,000 to purchase it and was awaiting a decision on the offer expected at midnight.

On Wednesday, Sept. 3, Toledo city officials confirmed an offer on the property had been accepted. they cautioned however, the deal depends upon approval of a Community Development Block Grant for theproject to proceed.(See below).

Tama County Assessor records list Hetal P. Rasania as the owner. The land is assessed at $120,000 value and the buildings at $64,230 according to the Assessor's website.

Article Photos

The deserted Budget in on Broadway at Business route 30 in Toledo on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2014.
Chronicle photos/John Speer

The deal still had not been made at last report to The Chronicle at Labor Day early press deadline from the office of Toledo City Clerk Janet Kriegel.

Rafferty said a 24-unit complex with 16 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom apartments is planned. He said it is estimated it will cost $50,000 to clear the old motel buildings and prepare the location for the new building.

However, the planned new construction also hinges on the successful application for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to finance a portion of the construction costs, Rafferty said.

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Asked by Council member Travis Mullen if denial of the CDBG would "kill the project,", Rafferty answered, "Yes."

Newbury Living has been actively seeking sites to build multi-family apartment complexes in Toledo and Tama to provide housing for the expected influx of employees when Iowa Premium Beef reopens the old Tama Pack. The company expects to employ 600 initially.

Toledo Planning and Zoning Commission members on a 4-1 vote taken on Aug. 19 recommended a rezoning of the Budget inn property from B2 (Business) to R3 (multi-family residential). Voting for the change were members Sarah Dostal, Bob Mullen, Chester Bearden and Verlene Horbach. Member Donna Princehouse voted "no."

The council voted in favor of the rezoning, on a 4-1 vote.

In addition, the council formally endorsed the project, also 4-1, in a resolution for the CDBG.

Council member Brian Sokol cast the lone no vote on both measures. Voting in favor were council members Joe Boll, Terry Goodhart, Jeff Filloon and Travis Mullen.

Sokol said he favored the scope of the project except for a clause in the endorsement which allows for "up to a 50 percent tax abatement" for 10 years. Sokol said he believed the council had previously only considered a five percent abatement for up to $75,000 of valuation.

Council member Joe Boll, while voting in favor of both measures, said he felt Newbury Living had "rushed" the -project and he "was not impressed" with their handing of the requests to the council.

The Chronicle-News-Herald newspapers had asked Marty Wymore, Region 6 Planning Commission executive director, in July about the speed Newbury Living was moving in an effort to make a CDBG application for a site in Tama.

Wymore said the funding had become available in a limited window of time and the application process would have to follow that calendar. He said the money was remaining flood relief funds from 2008.

Rafferty said he believed Newbury Living had "a very strong application because the Tama-Toledo area needs housing."

He said the decision on the CDBG applications will be known in January, 2015.

If the Toledo application is approved, construction would start in April with completion in 14 months, Rafferty said. He said the area would be landscaped and a playground would be part of the project.

In other business Monday the council:

said there was no interest on the part of the city in either of a pair of Iowa Department of Transportation-owned properties along the U.S. Highway 30 Expressway in Toledo. They are a 22.5 acre parcel located on the south side of the roadway, west of the U.S. 63 interchange valued at $80,000 and a 17 acre parcel located north of the highway and also west of the U.S. 63 interchange valued at $65,000.

learned of a request to allow a mural to be painted in the Healthy Living Center on the lower level of the Toledo Community Building. Council members said it was planned to paint the room and wanted more information about the mural before granting approval.

tabled action on allowing a garage to remain on a property at 504 S. Church St. where it is planned to raze the house.

learned Wells Fargo Bank will pay for asbestos testing of a house ta 700 S. Church St. and report findings back to the council. the council had earlier agreed to accept the property and a $20,000 donation from Wells Fargo to pay for demolition. However, concerns about possible asbestos in the home and cost of removal made the council reconsider accepting the property.

learned Police Chief bob Kendall planned ot add a part-tme officer to the police force to fill in as needed.

heard a report from Public Works Director Mark Zmolek who said Scharnweber Water Conditioning was hired to replace a broken sewer main in the center of the Toledo City Park. Zmolek said the line served all of the Toledo Heights area.

heard a report from Jeannie Sieck and Coleen Davis about the Lincoln Highway-Byway Sales on Aug. 7-9. They said vendors who set up in the Lincoln Highway Bridge Park have said they plan to return next year for the 2nd annual event. They also said there was great participation along the original Lincoln Highway route on 5th Street in Tama.

set a public hearing for the sale of an alley in the 200 bloc of South Main Street. Property owner Carolyn Maas expressed interest in buying the alley.

approved a beer sales permit for Shopko.

reviewed building permits for Dave Tesar- 24 ft. x 24 ft. garage; Shoestring jungle- fence; and Kevin Willaby- 16 ft. x 20 ft. deck.



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