Stewartville approves purchase agreement for industrial park business
STEWARTVILLE — The Stewartville City Council has approved a purchase agreement with RDC National Inc. for approximately seven acres of vacant land in the Schumann Business Park.
The council, on a 4-1 vote on Jan. 24, agreed to the sale at about $119,000 an acre.
RDC National is the development company selected by Fischer and Co. to negotiate the agreement for an as-yet unnamed company that will occupy a package distribution center on the property. The distribution center will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, said Mayor Jimmie-John King, and will bring thousands of dollars of tax revenue to the city.
"I can see this being the flagship of many good things to come in that industrial park," King said.
Council member Roger Hanson said that "basically we hit a home run for economic development in Stewartville."
The dissenting vote to the purchase agreement was made by council member Judy Hanson. She questioned many of the provisions of the project, including how much the city would pay for improvements, what would happen if the sale fell through and how much the city would deposit in escrow for construction.
Council member Lori Miller-Beach voted for the agreement but said the land in the park should be more actively marketed because the city will have a lot invested in infrastructure for the business park.
A Kwik Trip and the Schwickerts roofing company have already built in the industrial park.
Council member Gary Stensrud said, "There is a potential risk with a project of this magnitude, but I think that the potential rewards far outweigh the risks."
The company wishes to begin building this spring.
Tom Madden from the engineering firm of Yaggy Colby discussed the next phase in updating the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Madden said the improvement would bump up the capacity of the lift station for the next 20 years.
At the plant, everything is state of the art … for 1988, quipped Madden. New computerized controls would give operators more information about more parts of the plant and each type of alarm and would monitor procedures more effectively.
Madden said more information about the upgrade will be provided to the council during its second meeting in February.
Fire department report
Vance Swisher from the fire department presented the 2011 annual report and the 2013 budget request. The report will be presented to the townships that use the department's services and pay part of the budget.
In 2011, the department answered 373 calls for emergency fire services, equating to 3,839 hours of response and 1,407 hours of emergency medical response. Within the city of Stewartville, the department responded to 263 calls, which included 222 medical. The number of calls responded to outside Stewartville is equal to about half of the department’s work, said Swisher.
The Relief Association donated about $41,000 to the department that the association raised through charitable gambling. For the 2013 budget, the department is asking for a 1.2 percent increase, so the budget will total $261,500.
The council will meet with township representatives and fire department personnel this week to discuss fire fees for the year.
• The council approved ordering improvements and preparation of plans for the street reconstruction project involving portions of Third and Fourth Avenues Northeast and Second and Third Streets Northeast. The city plans to advertise for bids in April and open bids in May for the project.
• The council approved selling the used Heartland 2003 Chevy 3500 shuttle bus to high bidder Roger Koski for $3,783.
• The council approved a revolving loan for $24,900 for Podein’s power to help finance its new building.