Council approves bond issue to build four townhomes
Posted 9/13/11 (Tue)
By Terry Froseth
New development in the community moved forward as the Kenmare City Council adopted a resolution approving a $650,000 bond issue for construction of a four-unit townhome rental property at the intersection of Central Avenue and Sixth Street.
Diane Weick, president of SW Design Build, Inc., reviewed the bonding process and the project as part of the public hearing held just prior to the start of the regular monthly city council meeting.
Kenmare Housing Authority, a political subdivision of the City of Kenmare, will own the units, Weick explained. The resolution passed by the council, commits the city to making the bond payments, in the form of a loan to the Housing Authority, should they ever experience a shortfall of funds.
The revenue bonds are federal tax exempt to the banks who purchase them. Thus, they are issued at much lower interest rates than typical mortgages, Weick said.
She said they have already had calls to rent the units, so they will be filled as soon as they are available.
Weick said her company will work with the Housing Authority to set the rent rate, write up leases, and such, based on their experience with other similar projects.
She emphasized to the council that these units will not be low income or federally subsidized, but rather “affordable, moderate income housing.”
These units are “senior friendly, but not senior exclusive,” Weick added. They will be one level, two and three bedroom homes with attached garages.
The city-owned townhomes can be sold by the Housing Authority to a private party. Weick said this generally will not occur until after a period of about 15 years.
Annabelle Homes in doubt
A major development of new homes and businesses at Kenmare’s east edge appears to have come to a halt.
Mayor Roger Ness informed the council that proceedings for the Annabelle Homes development have shut down. Ness said a condition placed upon Annabelle for the purchase of the land excludes commercial development.
Paying for the extension of water and sewer lines to the property was dependent on tax incentives for commercial development, Ness said. “With no commercial, there’s no means to make payments.”
Annabelle is unwilling to pay the water and sewer costs outright. Ness said, however, he thought other developers will be interested in the area, even with it restricted to only residential development.
a Fund Itt grant
The council gave its approval to an interest buydown of approximately $3126.57, over five years, to Kenmare Super Valu on a $28,467.37 loan to purchase a new touch scanning system for the grocery store.
Approval was also given to a $1267 business improvement matching grant for One Stop Burger Shop for a new sign.
The council denied a request for a Fund Itt interest buydown, averaging $1650 annually for 20 years, to One Stop Burger Shop on a Bank of North Dakota loan towards construction of a new restaurant building.
Discussion amongst the council member quickly focused on claims the general contractor for the restaurant was from out of town and had not requested bids from any local contractors or material suppliers. A motion to approve the Fund Itt Committee’s recommendation for a buydown was defeated with three no votes, two yes votes, and one council member abstaining.
In other action:
• A liquor license transfer for South of the Border to the Memorial Hall was approved for October 8th for a wedding party.
• A beer license transfer for M&K Pizza Hub for the GooseFest Chili Cook-off was approved for October 15th.
• Police chief Gary Kraft informed the council, “We’re losing an officer to the oilfield.” He said officer Bill Cox will be taking a job with an oilfield company. Kraft said Cox is willing to help the police department out with back up and fill in duty for an hourly wage, as he will not be leaving town.
Kraft said he has listed the position with Job Service and in newspaper advertising and has already received two applications.
• Alderman Butch Norrie resigned, saying the October meeting will be his last.
• The Garbage committee is now keeping track of high cardboard users, in the event rates need to be adjusted.
• The Ways and Means committee will make recommendations on wages at the next meeting.
• Just three commercial water meters remain to be changed out with new radio read meters. All residential meters have been replaced.
• Two unused funds, Landfill Sinking and Future Street Repair, were transferred to the Sewer Improvement fund.
• A meeting of the Comprehensive Planning committee will be held Thursday, September 15 at 7:30 pm at City Hall.
Proposals submitted for development of the city’s property north of the old landfill will be discussed.