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Taxes will help apartment project

Local businessman-developer John Clarke appeared before the Davison County commissioners Tuesday at the courthouse in Mitchell to finalize details for county Tax Increment Financing District 3.

Clarke, accompanied by attorney Don Petersen, signed the agreement on behalf of his development Edgerton Place LLC, which broke ground last week.

The project will eventually have two, 65-unit apartment buildings with one- and two-bedroom units.

The TIF 3 development agreement signed at the courthouse Tuesday was for $802,188 in TIF funds, which will be used to build Williams Avenue between South Edgerton Street and South Ohlman Street farther west. New property tax payments generated by the apartment complex will be used to pay off the TIF bonds.

The development agreement specifies that the developer, and not the county, is responsible for paying off the bonds.

Golf carts on streets?

County Treasurer Christie Gunkel said she has received requests from county residents who wish to use golf carts on city and county roads. Currently, golf carts cannot be legally driven on city streets and only carts with 200 cc or larger gasoline engines can be licensed.

Gunkel said Chief of Public Safety Lyndon Overweg would be OK with allowing both electric or gas carts on city streets, if the machines are insured, properly registered with the county and properly marked with reflecting material to increase visibility.

The commissioners gave Gunkel the go-ahead to begin selecting a committee to check into the issues surrounding cart registration. Gunkel will offer the list of committee nominees to the commissioners at an upcoming meeting.

Licenses would probably cost about $10 to $20 a year, Gunkel said later, and the carts would be registered only with the county and not with the state.

New loaders

Commissioners approved the lease-purchase of two CAT front end loaders from Matt Tobin of Butler Machinery.

The first payments will come out of 2013 budget funds and the county will take delivery in December. Both machines will cost the county about $33,000 a year in payments over the five-year lease period. The deal includes parts and labor and a guaranteed buy-back of $160,000 for each machine at the end of the lease-purchase agreement.

Commission Chairman John Claggett said each of the new machines will save the county about $9,155 a year in maintenance and other expenses that it had been spending on its old loaders. The old machines will be sold as surplus, he said.

Other business

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners:

Set the time and date for a supplemental budget hearing at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 13.

Received a request from Davison County Conservation District representatives Bruce Haines and Jim Lehi for $25,000 in budget funds for 2014, the same amount donated by the county in 2012. Haines said the district planted 33 acres of trees and 900 acres of trees in the past year.