Supervisors move forward with creation of urban renewal area

Thursday, October 13, 2022
Above, land occupied by 73 MidAmerican Energy Co. wind turbines east and south of Remsen and three other parcels is now part of Plymouth County Wind Urban Renewal Area following action Oct. 4 by the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors.
(Sentinel Photo by Beverly Van Buskirk)

LE MARS — The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have moved forward with the creation of an urban renewal area in Fredonia, Meadow, Remsen and Henry Townships.

The Plymouth County Wind Urban Renewal Area consists of 76 parcels of land in those townships owned by MidAmerican Energy Co. Wind turbines are on 73 of the parcels, while the remaining three parcels are used for support services.

The area also includes all of the public right-of-way in Section 1 of Fredonia Township, including all of the public right-of-way along the easterly border of Fredonia Township and Marion Township on Quest Avenue; all of the public right-of-way situated in Meadow Township, Remsen Township and Henry Township.

At left, this property owned by MidAmerican Energy Co., at 19990 Roosevelt Ave., Remsen, is part of the Plymouth County Wind Urban Renewal Area, along with the 73 wind turbine sites.
(Photo by Megan Sabin)

At their Oct. 4 meeting, the supervisors adopted a Resolution to Declare Necessity and Establish an Urban Renewal Area, pursuant to Section 403.4 of the Code of Iowa and Approve Urban Renewal Plan and Projects for the Plymouth County Wind Urban Renewal Area.

A portion of that document states, “Whereas, a proposed urban renewal plan has been prepared for the governance of projects and initiatives to be undertaken in the Urban Renewal Area and which authorizes a certain initial urban renewal project to be undertaken therein consisting of using tax increment financing to pay the costs of constructing county road, bridge and culvert improvements, for the betterment of transportation infrastructure and the promotion of economic development …”

As school districts would be affected by the designation, a consultation meeting was held with the Remsen-Union School District, the Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn Community School District, the Kingsley-Pierson Community School District and the City of Remsen on Aug. 30. The city of Remsen is included as some of the urban renewal property lies within two miles of the incorporated limits of Remsen.

The supervisors had conducted a public hearing on the issue on Sept. 20.

The second document approved by the supervisors is an Urban Renewal Joint Agreement with the city of Remsen. This agreement states, in part, “Whereas, the initial project to be undertaken in the Urban Renewal Area, will consist of using tax increment financing to pay the costs of constructing county road, bridge and culvert improvements for the betterment of transportation infrastructure and the promotion of economic development.”

That agreement was approved by the Remsen City Council on Sept. 28, 2022.

The third document presented for approval was “An Ordinance Establishing a Tax Increment Financing District for the Plymouth County Wind Urban Renewal Area.”

The supervisors also waived action on a second and third consideration of the ordinance.

In other old business, the supervisors appointed board member John Meis to be its representative on the EMS Board. Board chairman Don Kass said a change in state law requires that a board of supervisor representative be a member of the board.