During a recent Storm Lake City Council meeting, a $279,000 five-year tax abatement for Hillshire Farms was approved.
Teh action follows $10.6 million in new construction at the Storm Lake Hillshire Farms plant. City Manager Jim Patrick noted work has already been completed, over the course of a year. As a result, the company has also pledged to hire 12 new employees.
Although generated from improvements, the tax abatement will cease if it reaches $279,000 before the end of the five-year period.
The city council also approved an application for a $600,000 storm water grant to relieve flooding in the residential area north of the high school.
Yards and street in the area typically flood after each heavy rain.
The City of Storm Lake plans to apply for a $600,000 Storm Water Community Development Block Grant for the $1.38 million project. Affected areas include Seneca and Spooner Streets to C49. Although another identical grant-funded project will soon be underway in the eastern part of the city, city officials are concerned Congress may change funding levels for CDBG grants in the future. While the program is highly competitive, Patrick said the project's innovative design should ensure the application receives approval. Deadline for the application is Jan. 16, with awards announced in late spring. If the City is not successful in receiving the grant, application will be made next year.
Plans and specifications for the fifth phase of the multi-million dollar FEMA sewer project, which includes wastewater treatment plan updates, were approved by council January 7. Patrick said the second phase's contractor will bring in equipment shortly. Bidding the large project in smaller phases has proven successful financially, Patrick noted, with the second contract 12 percent less and the first contract 15 percent less than the engineer's original estimates.