Sunday, September 21, 2014
   
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Developer gets okay to do infrastructure

Council action makes Terry Jessen eligible for TIF funds.

City officials won’t have the headache of overseeing the installation of streets, sewer and water in Gothenburg’s newest subdivision.

Terry Jessen, developer of Terry’s Business Park, got the green light from local city council members to do it privately.

Once the Scottsbluff accountant completes the infrastructure for a motel and development of other lots on property west of Super 8 motel, he will sell it to the city for $5.

The city, in turn, will maintain and operate improvements in the subdivision following an inspection.

What’s in it for Jessen?

If he does the work, he’s eligible for tax-increment financing.

TIF supports projects like Jessen’s by allowing the tax revenue generated by the property to help pay for its development.

On Monday, Jessen said there is also potential cost savings in doing the work privately because of bonding issues—if the city was involved—and more paperwork.

However he said he still needs state approval.

The developer said he and his work crew have already done some dirt work for infrastructure but will subcontract for paving and installation of water and sewer.

Jessen has been developing 63 acres of land along with Diana Unterseher. They are from Scottsbluff.

The Gothenburg City Council approved a construction infrastructure agreement with Jessen at its Sept. 15 meeting.

It spells out what is required of Jessen and the city.

Basically, Jessen must follow engineer specifications in installing the infrastructure and retain a professional engineer so improvements conform to city code in addition to other things.

Miller & Associates Consulting Engineers of Kearney, the city’s engineer, has reviewed the requirements.

City attorney Mike Bacon said the agreement protects the city if the installation is not completed according to spelled-out specifications.

Theoretically, the cost to the city will be the same whether or not Jessen does the work, according to city administrator Bruce Clymer.

Zero dollars.

“If we put it in, we would assess those costs to him,” Clymer said. “If he puts it in, then he pays for the cost and we simply accept the project once it has met city standards.”

During open forum at the meeting, Clymer asked the council to look at some proposed changes on a welcome sign into the city south of the overpass.

Concerns have been raised about the visibility of words etched on the stone marker.

In other action, the council approved a deed of conservation easement that allows Gothenburg Improvement Company to sell irrigation rights on land it owns.

The action will help GIC pay debt on the property, located at the east end of a once-proposed ethanol site, and still keep the area as an industrial tract.

Council members also granted a Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce request for a special license so Central Nebraska Seed& Chemical can serve alcohol at a business-after-hours event on Oct. 3.

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