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Friday, May 6, 2016

County finds out about Wells' district

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

An agreement on how to use funds from the urban renewal area to be formed around the new Wells' Dairy corporate headquarters will be introduced to the Plymouth County board of supervisors this morning (Tuesday).

Jeff Peters and Neal Adler of the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation and Gary Tucker, county economic development director, will present information about the agreement involving the City of Le Mars and Plymouth County.

If approved, representatives from each will be on an advisory board to recommend specifics of how tax increment financing funds should be used for infrastructure and other needs in the urban renewal area southwest of Le Mars. The LBIC will own the building leased to Wells' Dairy for its corporate headquarters on 200th Street near Keystone Avenue.

Darin Raymond, county attorney, suggested a presentation, for information only, be scheduled on the county board's agenda June 1.

"I want to avoid the situation you've been in before," said Raymond. "I think it's terribly unfortunate if there's some urgent sense to this. I don't want another situation where a group walks in and they have a pretty important issue to present to you and somebody said, 'You need to vote on it today.'

"And that's happened twice this year and it's troubling to me," said the county attorney. "And I think we need to have a little better control of the agenda in that regard and say that some of these things need to be listed on there for your consideration. They also need to be listed on there so there is some public awareness of the issue so public input can be sought on some of these things and considered. And this is one thing I think probably needs to be on there at least three times. One so you learn about it; a second time so the public can come in and comment on it; and a third time for final action.

"You've had a couple of tough votes and I think it's been tragic because people have come in on the first time it's been on the agenda and represented to you and asked you to take a vote," Raymond told the board.

Richard Philips and Jack Spies have been serving on the bypass committee as the board's representatives with city officials. Raymond had met with the group last week and suggested other supervisors be informed also of plans for the TIF district.

"I guess I've been more troubled over the agenda business where someone can come in and put something on the agenda. It happened several times with the jail project. You folks are just very generous and allow anybody to just walk in here and you're happy to listen to them. And that probably worked OK during the jail project, but when it's an action item and it's something that either, there's a lot of tax dollars at stake, or policies are going to change, I think, to be fair to you, that it be presented to you and you be allowed to research, to consider your options, to seek public input, and then you can come back and take action. When you're denied that opportunity, I don't think you can be effective. I mean, it's not fair to you, and you know it's not a good way to do business. It's not how you to do business."

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