City Council Hears Plan for New Housing Project

During the work session part of the Beloit City Council meeting last night the council heard plans for a new housing project to be built on the North Campus land if contractor/builder Mike Cooper gets the council's approval to go ahead with the project.

Cooper said this proposed development would be called "Silver Fox Lane/Estates." He wants to purchase and develop approximately 21 and one-half acres of land on the North Campus currently platted as R2, blocks 6 and 9. He would like to re-plat the entire acreage into a potential of 12 lots ranging in size from 65000 square feet to 10000 square feet.

Cooper would like work in conjunction with the City of Beloit to build all of the infra-structure necessary to supply the area for estate building of homes, also making the areas to the North and East more desirable for future building sites. He would be paying the full accessed price for the property. Cooper said he would write the city a check up front for the land with the agreement the city get the infrastructure completed by the end of 2013.

Cooper and Mike Blass of Blass Construction Co, who has already purchased several lots in this area and started building houses on these lots, have reached an agreement on the layout of the overall area. Blass said he would be starting two more houses on the lots he has purchased within the next month to a month and a half.

"I would like to keep a country atmosphere to the area," Cooper told the council. He is asking the City of Beloit to do the streets but he would like them to be asphalt and he does not want curb and gutter on them. Then the buyer could do what they want with the area from the street up to their home.'

Benefits Cooper feels this will give the City of Beloit include he fact that the sale of this property will provide the city enough additional funds to build the required sewer and infra-structure to service the entire North Campus for future development. He also said, a single developer will be easier to facilitate the development vs. the City trying to do it one lot at a time. He estimated a five to eight million-dollar increase to the value of the area when completed and homes are constructed.

"This would create a new area for the building of large homes within the City limits of which there are currently no areas like this available. As people build homes, many will be upgrading from a current home in Beloit, which in turn will open up very nice homes to the market helping relieve the housing shortage issue for the transition of older homes to new homes, Cooper said.

Members of the Council were very accepting of this plan and all voiced their approval of looking into this further. Mayor Tom Naasz said he feels they should move ahead with this as soon as possible. Both Heather Hartman and Administrator Rodden said they have a lot of people interested in buying houses in that area. The council agreed to move forward with this and placing it on their agenda to be voted on at their May 21 meeting. Cooper thanked the Council for their consideration.

During the work session the Council also looked over a preliminary draft of a lease agreement drawn up by City Attorney Katie Cheney with the help of Administrator Rodden, to lease the old library building and the adjoining parking lot to the Solomon Valley Hospice and the Mitchell County Hospital if the boards of these two entities are agreeable. Rodden plans to attend the next library board meeting to discuss this option before the next council meeting. If they are all agreeable he wants to have it on the June agenda for the council to vote on it.

During the regularly scheduled meeting agenda Administrator Rodden reported the insurance company has returned a check for $14,000 on the water damage from the storm. The city also received a rebate check from Blue Cross/Blue Shield for $31,000 and this will be placed back in the Employee Benefit fund. He also talked to John Devine about dates he could be here for a Council Retreat. They are considering June 24, and 25, for this meeting. Rodden said the city has received an A-minus Bond Rating but will not be doing anything with that at the present time.

The FAA has announced the city will not get the money they applied for to do the airport expansion until 2014.

Heather Hartman, Community Development Director, gave the following update. The city has received the grant they applied for in the amount of $102,000 and there are three different businesses involved in this. Two are looking into business expansions. She along with Glenn Rodden and Doug McKinney are working on a Housing Rehab Grant that is due August 1. They are looking for people who want to take part in that. There have been seven more lots sold in the business park but there are still several more available. They are looking at doing a 4th of July fireworks display on July 5 or Saturday July 6.

In other business the council took the following action:
Ordinance 2129 for repeat offenders enacts the changes to the health and safety code that was discussed at the last council meeting that would remove the grievance clause from the ordinance. The council was split with four members for the change and four members against. Mayor Naasz voted yes, in order to break the tie, and the change was made.

The council voted unanimously to repeal Ordinance 2130 on the Fireworks Ban.
The council voted unanimously to approve a waiver of GAAP Accounting for FY2012. The council voted unanimously to approve the following Mayor Appointments: Library Board; John Highland, Keith Bottrell and Tori Bowers; Housing Authority: Larry Golladay and Jacqueline Larson; Tree Board - Kathy Bottrelll and Recreation Advisory Committee: Scott Krier.

The council voted unanimously to approve the agreement between the Chautauqua Isle lf Lights Inc. and the City of Beloit. They voted 8 to 0 to approve the contract with hall Brothers Inc. The total cost of the project is $163,409.60. The City's share will not exceed $47,680.40. The remainder of the project will be paid by KDOT. Hall Brothers submitted the best-qualified bid for the FY KLINK K-14 resurfacing project scheduled for this summer. They approved the KDOT KLINK Engineering Agreement with Schwab Eaton Engineering for the City's KLINK Grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation. The cost of this service will be $26,983.13 for the purpose of improving K-14 north of 8th Street.

The council approved a contract with City Administrator Rodden as outlined in the agreement. They approved the FY2012 audit agreement with Clubine and Rettele in an amount not to exceed $7,900 and designate the Director of Finance/City Clerk to oversee their services. The KDOT Geometric Improvement Grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation was approved 8 to 0. The bid from Carrico Implement on a lease agreement on a new mower in the amount of $13,500 with trade-in for the parks and recreation department to replace the North Campus Mower was approved 8 to 0.

A Beloit Police Department hire of Jesse Mudd as a patrol officer, as submitted by Police Chief Odle, and was approved at a Level 24, Step1 hire at the rate of $14.35 an hour. The council approved this hire unanimously.

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