Approve 2014 budget; Consider business subsidy policy

October 21, 2013 – EDA Meeting Minutes

The regular meeting of the Freeport EDA Board was called to order by President Matt Worms at 12:10 P.M. with members Carrie Goebel, Mason Schirmer, and Andy Welle present. Members Jim Hemker and Bud Heidgerkin were absent.

Goebel moved and Welle seconded a motion to approve the agenda. Motion carried 4-0.

Approval of the Minutes
Welle moved and Schirmer seconded a motion to approve the September 16, 2013 minutes. Motion carried 4-0.

Famo Feed, Inc. Tax Abatement Default Update
Schirmer said the EDA’s recommendation from the previous meeting was provided to the City Council during their regular September meeting. Schirmer said Council decided to issue Famo an official notice of default and declared it to be the City’s intent to cancel the tax abatement agreement if the default is not remedied by Famo within thirty days.

Schirmer said Tom Beste of Famo Feed, Inc. recently stopped by City Hall for copies of minutes from City Council meetings and EDA meetings. Schirmer said he is not aware of any attempt to remedy the default.

Industrial Lots for Sale Update
Schirmer said advertisements were printed in the Dairyland Peach on October 14th and again on October 21st. Worms asked Schirmer to ask Public Works Director Jon Stueve about orange for sale signs (4’x8’) that used to stand in the Industrial Park. Worms asked Schirmer to ask Whirlwind for permission to hang a banner on their chain link fence adjacent to the interstate. Schirmer asked how often newspaper advertisements should be printed. Worms suggested printing an advertisement every-other week.

Industrial Lot Inquiry
Schirmer said a business recently inquiring about purchasing an industrial lot as has to remain confidential. Schirmer said he met with the business owner then visited the lots together. Schirmer said the business owner is ready to make an offer; however, the owner is asking for the EDA to prioritize the lots from most valuable/highest value to least valuable/lowest value before providing the offer.


Prioritize Industrial Lots
Schirmer asked if the EDA members want to prioritize the lots in order of value. Members agreed not to prioritize the lots; rather, members agreed that reasonable offers would be considered, even if the offer is for less than a dollar per square foot.
Business Subsidy Policy
Schirmer presented members with a copy of a draft business subsidy policy, provided by Todd Hagen of Ehlers & Associates. Schirmer advised members to review the policy and ask questions over the next month, and possibly address approving such a policy during the next regular meeting. Welle commented that when determining eligibility, that job creation should not be the sole consideration; Welle said there is value in retaining jobs as well.

Approve 2014 Budget
Worms asked about the land lease agreement between the EDA and Middendorf Farms. Welle said they may be making rent payments in the form of paying the taxes on the property. Schirmer said he would research. Worms moved to approve the 2014 Budget. Seconded by Welle. Motion approved

Schirmer said the next meeting will be Monday, October 21, 2013 at noon in City Hall.

Worms moved and Schirmer seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting at 1:22 P.M. Motion carried 5-0.

Matthew Worms, President                            Mason Schirmer, Secretary