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home : news : news Wednesday, May 25, 2016

1/18/2014 Email this articlePrint this article 
Board of supervisors approve amendment for railport sales proceeds

By Jeremy Huss
Staff writer

City and county officials now have a plan in place to determine the distribution of proceeds from future sales of property at the Lincolnway Railport.

The Clinton County Board of Supervisors Jan. 13 approved an amendment to its 28E agreement with the city of Clinton that establishes what costs may be deducted from the gross sale amount to determine the net proceeds.

The board negotiated the amendment last September to determine how much money the county would receive from the sale of railport property to railroad tie manufacturer Rail.One.

The amendment approved Monday will apply to the proceeds from the sale of additional property to Nevada Railroad Materials (NRM) and any future land sales.

It allows deductions for abstracting expenses, legal expenses, recording fees, property tax prorate, platting expenses and land or easement expenses required as part of a sale. Other expenses can be included if mutually agreed upon by the city and the county prior to or after the sale of property.

Mayor Mark Vulich, city administrator Jessica Kinser and attorney John Frey were among a contingent of officials from the city of Clinton and the Clinton Regional Development Corp. (CRDC) who attended the meeting, but there was little discussion.

Frey said the city council has accepted the board's figures for distribution of the Rail.One proceeds and adopted verbatim the proposed 28E amendment.

The process is an example of the goodwill and cooperation the city and county plan to continue as the railport develops, Frey said.

"We'll listen to each other and make decisions that are in all our best interests," he said.

"We deeply treasure our unique relationship with the city of Clinton," supervisor Brian Schmidt said, noting residents of the city make up about half of the county's total population.

"The board treasures that cooperation and also the initiative by the CRDC to address the needs not only of the city but also of the county," Schmidt said.

The supervisors approved the amendment in a 2-0 vote. Supervisor Jill Davisson was absent due to illness.

Railport update

Clinton County is due to receive $450,000 in revenue from the sale of 26.8 acres to Rail.One, and additional revenue is due from the sale of 18 acres to NRM for $756,000.

Frey said $150,000 in proceeds from the Rail.One sale has been distributed to date. Remaining funds of $850,000 are in escrow, but Clinton is asking for an additional $400,000 to be released now that an access road has been constructed to Rail.One's property. The remaining funds will be disbursed once the city has established a tax-increment financing (TIF) district required as part of the deal.

Frey said he expects the remainder of the Rail.One proceeds to be distributed in late February or March.

NRM already has begun construction in order to begin operating at its new facility in the spring, Frey noted.

Board asks for road funding

The board approved a resolution of support from the Iowa State Association of Counties asking the legislature to increase funding for road and bridge infrastructure by increasing the gas tax 10 cents over a three-year period, raising new vehicle registration fees from 5 to 6 percent and allocating up to $225 million to the Iowa Department of Transportation's TIME 21 plan.

Fees for business licenses to increase

Fees for business licenses in Clinton County will increase from $10 to $25 as of July 1 following action by the board.

Auditor Eric Van Lancker said the fee hasn't increased since it was instituted more than 20 years ago.

"That $10 doesn't really even cover the materials and mailings of a business license as it is, not to mention the time of my staff," Van Lancker said.

Snow keeps road crews busy

It's shaping up to be a busy year for snow and ice removal, county engineer Todd Kinney said.

Snow and ice crews have been mobilized 20 times so far this winter, compared to 21 times in all of the 2012/13 winter season.

"This winter is shaping up to be above average," Kinney said.

Other business

In other business, the board:

•Approved a resolution combining the roadside management department with the secondary roads department. The departments will continue to maintain separate budgets.

•Approved a resolution abating taxes for a parcel of land located at 1268 465th Ave. because the United States Department of Justice has taken possession.

•Approved an agreement with the department of transportation to pave asphalt road approaches as part of the Hwy. 30 resurfacing project. Resurfacing is planned in 2014 from 158th Avenue west of Calamus to Clarence.

•Approved the plans and specifications for the garage and parking lot at the Clinton County Satellite Offices in DeWitt.

•Approved an exposure control policy detailing procedures for dealing with blood borne pathogens.

•Approved the appointment of Eugene Deedon as part-time bailiff/transport officer for the sheriff's office at an hourly rate of $15.

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