The Marcus City Council in a special meeting Monday evening decided to move forward on another step in the process of helping Marcus grow as a community.
Skip Meisner from Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council (SIMPCO) presented council members with a brief outline of the next steps to take in order to designate the Business Park along Highway 3 under Tax Increment Financing (TIF).
Under a TIF, a specified percentage of the increase in property tax revenue resulting from improvement of the property is set aside for a specified number of years for a designated purpose, in this case to pay off a bond that will be used to purchase the land and build roads, water lines and sewer lines.
Meisner will be putting the plan together for the city and was expected to have a tentative time line to Mayor Darrell Downs by Thursday this week.
Some of the steps involved in the process are identifying the area to be designated, define how the area qualifies as an urban renewal project, and then plan out how the renewal project will be used. After putting the plan together, there also has to be a public hearing followed by a second public hearing which will then enable the process to continue.
The engineering company working on the Business Park, JEO, has already started surveying the property. Council members concluded the final approval of the purchase of the property at Monday's meeting.
The cost of the approximately 23 acre purchase was $236,073. The city will be able to recoup the cost of the purchase and its improvements from TIF financing in addition to the sale of lots in what will eventually be zoned as an Enterprise Zone.
After final mapping and zoning of the Business Park council members plan to voluntarily annex the property into the city in conjunction with the voluntarily annexation of the Marcus Junction. Board members of the Marcus Junction have already agreed, on record, to be voluntarily annexed into the city.
Council members made and approved a preliminary motion to voluntarily annex the properties as soon as it is feasibly possible.
Council members, denied a request from Pat Bunt to purchase an acre of land apparently within the Business Park. No sales of the property will be made until it has been annexed and JEO has completed their boundary studies and develops a final plat.
Council members did approve a request from Police Chief Ebert to purchase a taser gun. The purpose of the purchase is to provide a level of safety for both the officers and suspects.
Suspects sometimes don't comply with officers because they know officers aren't always willing to use deadly force unless they absolutely have to. With a taser gun, suspects become more compliant more quickly because they know an officer is more willing to use it. A taser gun puts a suspect at bay without the use of deadly force.
The cost of the taser gun is $930 and comes with holster, battery and five cartridges. The rechargeable battery is good for 2000 shots and it shoots up to 25 feet. All current officers will go to training to learn the proper use of the taser gun. Any new officers from the Law Enforcement Academy will already have training on the weapon, since it is now a part of the curriculum.
Ebert also sited statistics on how the taser gun has been able to reduce workman's compensation claims as well as significant decreases in the use of lethal force and injuries to officers and suspects.
A motion was made and passed that now requires any citizen wishing to be on the agenda for a city council meeting to fill out a form.
The form can be picked up at Marcus City Hall and requires the person making the request to fill out their name, address, and specific reason for their request. They must also specify which council meeting agenda they want to be on. The forms must be turned in no later than 4 p.m. on the Tuesday prior to the scheduled council meeting.
City council members concluded the meeting after working through the 2006-07 budget.