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Example of new IPD wrap

An example of a modified wrap featuring the Independence Police Department logo.

INDEPENDENCE – Maggie Burger, SVP with Speer Financial, reviewed the annual City of Independence TIF report virtually at the council’s Nov. 9 meeting.

In a letter to the council, Burger defined TIF (Tax Increment Financing) as “a means for municipalities, after the approval of a ‘redevelopment plan and project,’ to redevelop blighted, commercial/industrial or housing areas. IA Code Sections 15A, 403 and 404 further describe use of public funds to aid economic development projects, urban renewal and urban revitalization areas. The municipality is authorized to issue tax increment bonds payable from, and secured by, incremental property tax revenues expected to be generated in the TIF project area. Incremental property tax revenues are derived from the increase in the current assessed/taxable of the real property within the TIF area over and above the certified initial base valuation for such project area.”

Burger went on to write, “Before entering into an obligation related to TIF, necessary steps must be completed, include the project in the urban renewal plan for the municipality/county. Public hearings are required to be held to adopt such plan amendments, only after the time of these hearings can the municipality/county enter into a TIF agreement.”

During the council meeting, she reported the economic growth rate for the city was 3.62 percent.

“A very healthy growth rate,” she told the council.

After the meeting, City Manager Al Roder said the city planned on only a .5 percent growth rate.

“We were very conservative with our budgeting,” he said.

After the presentation, Council Member Juan Rodriguez asked Burger what the city’s bond rate was. She responded that it was an “A2” using the Moody’s Investors Service scale. The rating is defined as, “An obligor has STRONG capacity to meet its financial commitments but is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligors in higher-rated categories.”

“[A2] is about as good as we can get,” said Roder after the meeting.

Other Council Business

- An amendment to Article XX of the Zoning Ordinance was approved to regulate the installation of wheelchair ramps and access stoops to allow residents with disabilities to more safely and efficiently access their homes and other buildings.

- Adopted a FEMA Floodplain Ordinance to be in compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program guidelines.

- Approved a development agreement with Steve Gee Construction and authorizing TIF payments. Gee is constructing an office building on 3rd Avenue NE between Sorg Insurance and VFW Post 2440.

- Approved the 2020 Annual Financial Report and authorized it to be sent to the office of the state auditor.

- Approve a resolution accepting the work covering the 2020 Pavement Rehabilitation Project and adopted a final assessment schedule.

- A request to modify Independence Police Department squad logos was approved. The current system of using a wrap costs $700. The new design is expected to be half the cost.

- Approved a change order for the Melone Creek Bridge project that will save $3,212.70.

- Approved an agreement in the amount of $3,500 with Shive-Hattery for structural review of the First Ward Park water tower. The review will focus on the legs of the tower. This review is predicated on obtaining a proper maintenance agreement for all of the water towers.

- New solid waste rates with Waste Management were approved: 96-gallon trash, $17.52/home/month; 64-gallon trash, $16.30/home/month; 32-gallon trash, $15.85/home/month; 32-gallon senior trash, $13.00/home/month; and extra container, $8.70/home/month. In addition an Environmental Impact fee was set at $1.50/home/month.

The next regular city council meeting will be Monday, November 23, at City Hall. The meeting will be held virtually.

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