Auburn Council Approves Modifications to Two Redevelopment Areas at July 26 Meeting
During the July 26 meeting, Auburn City Council held two public hearings to receive comments prior to considering substantial modifications to two city redevelopment plans. Little comment was received regarding either proposal as few people were present for the meeting.
The council passed a resolution terminating Redevelopment Project #4 in Redevelopment Area #1. It was explained that this action basically attaches property from an area on the northwest part of the city to the Downtown Redevelopment Area. The area changed was formerly designated as the Northwest Sanitary Sewer Project but which never became a reality.
Councilman and Community Redevelopment Authority Chairman Dennis Wittmann said the action makes it possible for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) monies generated in and designated for the former project to be used to the benefit of more property owners within the city. There has been about $120,000 collected for the project which never materialized but those funds will now be available for the benefit of TIF projects on a larger scope.
A second resolution was adopted which recommended a substantial modification to the general development plan for Redevelopment Area #1. It called for expanding the area from the vicinity of the former middle school on south along Highway 75 to 26th Street and a portion of land along Alden Drive in the Crest View Addition.
Residential Demolition Bids
Kevin Burnison with Southeast Nebraska Development District (SENDD) discussed Residential Demolition Bidding Round 3 and explained that there were four applications received which when added together represented more money than remains in the Community Development Block Grant fund which the city received earlier for purposes of demolition. Burnison said the applications were ranked with sufficient funds available for the two receiving the highest rankings. There is also some money remaining to pay a portion of the third highest ranked project, but none left in the grant funds for that project which ranked lowest.
Discussion took place that the city had budgeted some monies for demolition and that it would probably in its best interests to consider using these already budgeted monies to help make up the difference on the two lowest ranked projects. The council approved the low bids from Winkelman Construction with the understanding that financial particulars would need to be finalized later with the contractor.
Other Action Items
The council also approved the following:
• A drawdown in the amount of $24,646 for the citywide Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation project currently underway.
• Awarding of a contract for asbestos abatement to ESA Inc. of Omaha in the amount of $3,070, which was the lowest of five bids received.
• Awarding of a contract for $17,550 to Hinrichsen Construction of Pawnee City for housing rehabilitation.
• Authorizing the city’s chief elected official to execute all necessary documents for the Phase 1 Downtown Revitalization Grant Program Contract between the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and the City of Auburn.
• Authorizing the chief elected official to execute the General Administration Contract between SENDD and the City of Auburn for Phase 1 of the Downtown Revitalization Project.
• Accepting a quote from Hartford Insurance to consider fiduciary insurance for the City of Auburn/Board of Public Works Trustees of the pension plan at a cost of $1,752 to be split evenly between the city and utility.
• Reappointments of Laurie Schulte to the Auburn Memorial Library Board and Harry Bridgmon to the Municipal Tree Board. Mayor Bob Engles advised the council and audience that appointments were still needed to the City Planning Commission and CRA, and he welcomed any recommendations of individuals who may be interested in serving on either board. Those whose three-year terms expired in July on the Planning Commission were Jeff Domino, Dan Buman and Heath Christiansen. The CRA opening is to fill the unexpired term (expiring in August 2014) due to the earlier resignation of Terri Bishop.
Two Councilmen Not Present
Absent from the 5 p.m. Monday meeting were Council members Chris Erickson and Frank Critser.