Wakefield’s Council Approves TIF Project

Wakefield’s Council Approves TIF Project
Wakefield Mayor Paul Eaton; City Council Members Ross Hansen and Larry Soderberg; and interim City Administrator Nicki Decker look at building plans for the new Nick's Wood Shop warehouse.

WAKEFIELD – Two TIF projects were discussed during the Wakefield City Council meeting Wednesday night.

The council heard from Cline Williams attorney, Alison Borer, about a potential project funded by tax increment financing, or TIF. Nick Sebade, of Nick’s Wood Shop, came before the council in 2021 with plans to build a new warehouse on 9th Street. At Wednesday’s meeting, the council voted on whether to allow him to use TIF to do so. In this case, the CRA will actually hold the TIF note and act as essentially the banker, doling out funds to Sebade as work is completed and charging 5 percent interest over the course of the 15-year certificate. The TIF note is $91,800 for a valuation of $480,000. Mayor Paul Eaton questioned whether the CRA needed to be involved in the project when there are area banks that could have been used to fund the project.

“It might not get close to $91,000,” Val Bard, City Council and CRA member said. “If we get lucky it might stop at $75 (thousand) for Nick and one of the reasons he was asking to do this is then, if that, in fact, could happen, he would not be tied into a bank for that extra chunk of money and he could instead use it to do some of the things we requested of him.”

Those extra things include landscaping and extra design elements in front of the building. The council voted 3-1 to approve the project, with only council member Larry Soderberg opposing. A public hearing to re-zone the lot from C-2 to I-1 will be held on Wednesday, April 13.

Sub Surfco, LLC out of South Sioux City was the low bid for the 9th Street Paving Project at $533,000. The project should be completed around August. A second reading to establish a paving district for 9th Street was held. Both the CRA and Sales Tax committees pledged $100,000 to the project, leaving $65,565.45 to be divided out per the total number of lots. The second reading was passed. Eaton again called into question the generosity of the CRA and whether funds could be better spent elsewhere.

“My own feeling is that $100,000 from the CRA and the CAC is too generous,” Eaton said. “When I’ve gone to the City and need something for the park, we’ve got no money but if we need something for this, we’ve got $100,000 and $100,000.”

In other action, a public hearing was held for Wakefield’s other TIF project, the Pick and Perry Construction project. The multi-family unit being built will be higher than city zoning allows. No one spoke for or against adopting an ordinance to amend the height limit.

An ordinance was adopted to change the term of park board membership from one year to three. This will help with continuity on projects that may last for more than one year. The council also approved paying Bat & Ball Treasures and Landscaping, LLC $3,200 for groundskeeping at Graves Park. The lease of remaining farmland in the Industrial Park Addition was also approved.

The next Wakefield City Council meeting will be held on April 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wakefield Civic Center.