City seeks RFPs for old Compadres building

City Council
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Work might soon progress on the former Compadres building on E. First Street.

     During the Jan. 18 Monticello City Council meeting, the council approved publishing an RFP (request for proposals) for anyone interested in improving the property.

     The city previously applied for a derelict building grant to replace the roof and remove the asbestos in the portion of the building on W. First. This grant comes with a financial commitment from the city of $50,000 toward the project. The city, as the applicant, must own building until July 2021.

     Economic Development Director Derek Lumsden said if the city applies for a second derelict grant for the portion of the building on N. Cedar Street, then the city would have to own the building until July 2022.

     Once the RFPs are returned, the council could always look to lease the building to a developer, but remain in ownership of it. That way, Lumsden said, the developer could get to work on renovations.

     Mayor Brian Wolken said recently, the building has fallen into worse disrepair concerning some structural walls. He said an excavator might be needed to pull debris out of what remains.

     At a previous council meeting, Matt Kumley, owner of The Glass Tap adjacent to Compadres, showed interest in the building.

     City Clerk Sally Hinrichsen provided sewer rate increase scenarios to the council, should the council choose not to use TIF funding toward the new sewer plant project.

     Working with PFM (a financial advisory firm), residents could see three years of increases at a total of 85 percent (30 percent in year-one, 30 percent in year-two, and 25 percent in year-three).

     For example, if you use 5,000 gallons a month for a two-person household, your monthly sewer bill would be $33.26. After those three years’ worth of increases, it would total $70.26 a month.

     Hinrichsen said the increase in rates would help cover the $12 million project, as well as interest rates for the loan the city needs to pay for the project and pay off the debt, and increased operating costs of the plant.

In other city business:

   The council approved an investment of $1,139 (30 cents per capita) toward Jones County Tourism for FY 2022.

     Tourism also requested 4 percent of the city’s Hotel/Motel Tax, an additional $800. The council said the tax would be dispersed once Tourism presented a specific project they wanted the funding to go toward.

     • The council approved an investment of $3,200 in Senior Dining for FY 2022.

     • The council approved a contract for communication services between the city, Jones County, the Sheriff’s Office at $25,218.

     • The council set a public hearing for Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. to consider the maximum tax dollars the city can collect from certain levies for the FY 2022 budget.

     Council member Dave Goedken said he would not be favor of a property tax increase, noting the sewer plant project in the works that will result in sewer rate increases.

     • The council approved the second reading of a city ordinance increasing the mayor’s compensation from $300 to $400 a month.

     The wage would not take effect until Jan. 1, 2022.

     • Parks and Rec Director Jacob Oswald reported that the Monticello Garden Club has decided to disband, releasing their projects and responsibilities to Parks and Rec. This includes the plantings at the Fountain Park, Jones County Fairgrounds, and the Community Building.


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