City council notes: May 20

City council notes: May 20
Spencer Community Events Calendar

Drivers traveling north on Grand Avenue will eventually see new street signs and light poles thanks to private fundraising by the Grand Avenue Improvement Corporation.

At Monday’s city council meeting, the council to approve a memo of agreement with the Grand Avenue Improvement Corporation (GAIC) on the installation of “historic street poles and street signage,” according to an agenda item memo, in the North Grand Avenue Historic District.

Mayor Kevin Robinson said the group raised over $45,000 in private funds for the project.

Family in home Farmers Trust and Savings Bank home loans

Several council members spoke highly of the work done by GAIC.

“Great program,” Ward 1 Councilman Tom Nelson said. “I commend them for raising the money that they did to come up with those new street signs. They’re going to look awesome. I’m hopeful that those new street signs, that design, can continue on down through Grand Avenue.”

The agreement states the city will buy the street signage and poles. GAIC will then reimburse the city. The city will pay for installation and continued maintenance.


GAIC’s goal is to have the signs installed in time for the Clay County Fair.

City seeking bids for firefighter training facility

Spencer and other area firefighters are one step closer to having a fire training tower.

On Monday, the Spencer City Council held a public hearing on and then approved proposed plans, specifications, form of contract and estimate of cost for what will be a Class A fire training facility.

The city is now seeking bids for the design and construction of the facility.

Ward 5 Councilman Ron Hanson said the facility will be great for volunteers.

“We don’t want to send somebody out there without the skills, so I’m happy to see we’re moving forward with it,” he said.


The tower will be used for training by Spencer and other area fire departments. It will be located in the Green Industrial Center on the city’s east side.

The council voted 6-0 to approve the facility. Ward 4 Councilwoman Leann Jacobsen was absent.

Council approves urban renewal area update to pay for substandard housing program, spec building agreement

The council also paved the way to create funding for a substandard housing program and a development agreement with MWI Components to purchase the spec building by amending the city’s urban renewal plan.

“This is an amendment to an existing urban renewal area to cover two separate items,” Mack said. “The first is the substandard housing program that we’ve been discussing. It would allow the city to use those TIF revenues to provide grants to property owners who qualify, low- to moderate-income, owner-occupied properties to facilitate those repairs.

“The second piece of that is to cover the development agreement with MWI Components, which we did a memo of intent with them a few weeks ago.”

At those meetings, it was proposed that grants be made available to low- and moderate-income, owner-occupied properties for up to $24,999 for main structures and $9,999 for accessory buildings.


The city also approved a $512,000 internal loan to cover the grant program. TIF receipts will be used by the city to pay itself back over the next five years.

The amendment also will cover a development agreement with MWI, which is expanding into the speculative building at the Green Industrial Center. The city will hold a separate hearing on the actual agreement at another meeting, according to an agenda item memo.

The council approved all measures unanimously. Council member Leann Jacobsen was absent.

City to apply for rapid flash beacons grant; would be installed near schools

The city council approved an application from the city to the Wellmark Foundation 2019 Small Match Grant for five rectangular rapid flash beacons that would be located near schools in town.

Mack shared the proposed locations:

“The proposed locations are the middle school; Fourth Avenue East and East 14th Street, the route to Fairview Elementary; Fourth Avenue SW and Eighth Street SW, (near) Lincoln; West Ninth Street and Eighth Avenue West at Johnson; and then 13th Street SW and Eighth Avenue SW, which is the Southern Pointe Apartments crossing.”

The grant is a 50-50 match grant for up to $25,000.

The beacons are similar to those already in place on Grand Avenue.


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