Posted on

Council voices official support for Cambrex expansion

By James Grob,

The Charles City Council unanimously approved a letter of endorsement for the Cambrex expansion project at Monday’s meeting.

“What we’ve been asked to do is pass this resolution, and send this in showing our support for the project,” said Charles City city Administrator Steve Diers.

Diers explained that as part of Cambrex’s official application to the state, Charles City has been asked to be the project sponsor.

Cambrex Charles City Inc. recently announced a $49.29 million expansion project which will create 32 new jobs that exceed the qualifying wage of $17.81 per hour. This qualifies Cambrex for state incentives from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). On July 17, the IEDA board generally supported an award to Cambrex in the amount of $250,000 in direct financial assistance as well as tax benefits via the Iowa High Quality Job program.

Diers said that this is something Charles City has done for other projects. Additionally, there is a local match requirement which will be met with a forgivable loan from the Charles City Area Development Corp. of $30,400, as well as with a forgivable loan from the area TIF district based on the new jobs.

Thirty-two new jobs at $1,250 incentive per job comes to $40,000.

“Ultimately, that will be our financial contribution,” Diers told the council. Several council members expressed enthusiasm, calling it a “great project” and “good for the community.”

The council will be taking official action at a future meeting, as will the Floyd County Board of Supervisors, because the Southwest Bypass TIF district is jointly controlled by the city and county. The SW Bypass TIF Board reviewed the request last Thursday.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the council approved the final reading of an ordinance and unanimously adopted a new chapter of the Charles City Code, controlling who can use the city compost and yard waste disposal site.

Diers told the council that Charles City is seeing an increasing trend of brush and leaves being dumped off at the Shaw Avenue brush dump that are originating from outside of the city limits of Charles City. In some cases, the Police Department has stopped semi loads coming in from out of town and even from outside of Floyd County.

This brush dump is operated solely by the city and brush and leaves are chipped a couple of times a year into mulch that can then be taken by city residents for their own use. The cost associated with chipping a couple years ago was around $24,000 a year. In the fiscal year that just ended, the cost was up to $31,200, based on the additional volume.

The reason for this ordinance change is to give the city the authority to fine someone dumping who is not from within the city limits.

The council also approved façade applications for the Floyd County Historical Museum and for North Iowa Lawn and Sports on Monday. Mark Wicks explained that the museum was requesting $9,300 and North Iowa Lawn and Sports was requesting $921.42. The applications had been reviewed and approved by the design committee.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the council voted to reappoint Mary Ann Townsend and Michael Barrigan to the historic preservation committee and voted to appoint Brandon Franke to replace Eric Miller on the housing board.