WAVERLY – The Waverly Community Development Agency and City Council voted to approve $195,000 in tax increment financing for the Northwest Electric facility in their meetings July 23.
In back to back meetings, the two voting bodies approved TIF for Northwest Electric to use on the lot at 9811 North 135th Street.
Both votes were approved on a 3-2 vote. The bodies of each group are made of the same five members. Councilmen Andrew Cockerill and Bill Gerdes were the votes in opposition.
The vote was the only thing on the CDA agenda for the day and the process went quickly. Tom Huston, legal representation for Northwest Electric, spoke before the vote and shortly thereafter the question was called and the resolution was approved.
The city council meeting directly after required a public hearing before a vote was taken to approve. Huston spoke again, followed by two Waverly residents who spoke in opposition.
One resident, Brandon Koll, said he was all for Northwest coming to Waverly, but he didn’t want to see anymore TIF approvals. Tana Pegler told the council she doesn’t want any more eyesores in town.
The hearing lasted only nine minutes.
The council then discussed the resolution before them. Councilman Chad Neuhalfen spoke in support.
Neuhalfen said that towns cannot survive without business and that previously approved TIF had proved to be good for the community.
With pressing budget needs coming, Neuhalfen said the city needs to be proactive about improving the tax base.
“As this town continues to grow, we want all these amenities. Well, it’s the businesses that you use to go knock on their door to help out with amenities,” Neuhalfen said Tuesday before the vote.
Neuhalfen said that Northwest Electric is a good established business that shouldn’t be shut out.
Gerdes made clear he disapproved, as he interjected during Neuhalfen’s remarks that he wasn’t against business, just the TIF approval.
Councilman Dave Nielsen said he agreed with Neuhalfen.
The vote was called and the council was deadlocked in a 2-2 tie. Mayor Mike Werner is the tie-breaking vote when
the council is deadlocked.
Werner said that if the problem is with TIF that should be handled in a separate resolution. The project was always something he had been in favor of, he said, and he voted to approve the resolution.
After the vote, the Council approved all matters unanimously. Watts Electric Company’s bid of around $106,000 was approved for the Pedestrian Crossing Improvements Project.
At the meeting, it was announced that Waverly residents would see letters from the city concerning overhanging trees on their property. The letter is to alert residents of the city ordinance.
The next CDA meeting will be held Oct. 8. The city council will hold its next meeting Aug. 13, the second Tuesday of the month.