|Cedar Grove Developer Proposes Special Arrangements For City Electric|
|Written by Nancy Bowman|
|Wednesday, 21 August 2013 00:00|
The proposed developer of the Cedar Grove subdivision south of Kessler-Cowlesville Road was back before Tipp City Council with a request for a different way of paying for extension of city electric to the property.
Council heard the request Monday, but did not take action on a proposal that Judy Tomb of Talismanic Properties said is vital to the development moving forward and City Manager Jon Crusey said would be a risk to city electric ratepayers and taxpayers.
The developers previously met with council at its Aug. 5 meeting when council said it had no interest in allowing someone other than the city electric department build the electric system that would be maintained by the city electric crews. The developers asked to be allowed to obtain bids on the electric system construction to save money, if possible.
Council was scheduled Monday to discuss another proposed electric extension option of assessing the extension cost to the lots in the development.
That was not discussed when Judy Tomb, general manager for developer Talismanic Properties, asked council instead to consider another option to the $143,000 estimated cost of the city extending the electric system.
The city requires developers to pay one half the electric extension cost when materials are ordered and the other half when the work is complete. Tomb asked the city to allow developers to pay the first half of the bill when 10 lots are closed for sale and the other half when another 10 lots close.
“That’s the only way we can come up with the $143,000,” she said, adding finances for the project are very tight. “We are asking for a little break in just this first section. After that, we will be fine.”
If that approach would be followed, the city, in effect, would be lending the company money, Crusey said. A number of related issues would need to be discussed including an interest rate, he said.
Councilmember Katelyn Berbach said she did not see any protection for the city if it agreed to that arrangement. Tomb said the city would have a lien on the lots.
Crusey said the city “is not interested in being in the real estate business” and would have lots on its hands that someone else could not sell.
Crusey said council would discuss the proposal at its next meeting Sept. 3. Tomb said time is important and city action on the subdivision’s first phase is needed soon so work on the project can begin yet this year.
“I am asking you to work with me,” Tomb said. “If we don’t get this on the Sept. 3 agenda, we are cooked.”
Crusey said, “You are asking the ratepayers of Tipp City to help finance your for-profit subdivision. There is a lot of risk there for the city and our ratepayers and taxpayers.”
Tomb pointed out repeatedly that the housing project would bring jobs to the community and more revenues.
“From a practical standpoint … help us help you. This is good for the community long term,” she said.
Mark Locke of Ryan Homes, Dayton Division, who is working with Talismanic Properties on the proposed project, supported Tomb’s remarks and said the housing proposed is needed in the community. “We believe in Judy, we believe in Tipp City,” Locke said.
In other business Monday, the council:
Approved an agreement with the city schools for use, as has been done for years, of the Roundhouse at City Park for home football and soccer games until locker room facilities are available at the stadium. The agreement was needed because a previous agreement expired Dec. 31, 2012.
Agreed to authorize the police chief and city manager to sign a temporary alcohol permit application for this year’s HarvestFest scheduled for Oct. 26 on Main Street downtown versus the traditional location on South Second Street.
Voted to not request a public hearing on a request by Naina Petroleum LLC for new C1 and C2 liquor licenses for the BP station at 1016 W. Main St.