McCOOK, Nebraska -- The McCook City Council approved an amendment to the $105,000 East Ward Village loan which would give the developer 30 years to pay it back.
Prior to the action at Monday night's regularly scheduled meeting at council chambers, City Attorney Nate Schneider said that the option of granting the money to the housing developer had also been explored before ultimately deciding on the amendment.
The amendment set the 2 percent interest rate loan at a 10-year term, with the borrower having the sole discretion to extend the term for an additional five years and then extend it again at the end of that period for an additional 15 years.
The loan was originally approved by councilors in July and served as the final funding piece needed for the $3,902,094 renovation project of the former elementary school lot into 27, non-smoking units, primarily targeted for senior housing.
Rex Nelson, Executive Director for the McCook Economic Development Corp., reminded councilors of the need for affordable housing in McCook. Nelson said the project and city loan were determined previously to be a good value for the city and continue to be such, "the bang for buck is just excellent," said Nelson.
The council also approved revisions to the East Ward development site plan without discussion. The revisions included relocating the parking lot to the southwest corner of the site and reducing the number of overall parking stalls from 80 to 66. Orientation of two of the duplexes on the site was also rotated to simplify the grading required.
Relocation of the sidewalk along East Sixth Street was listed among the announced revisions to the site plan, in order to provide safer walking away from the street as well as at the driveways. Rebecca Dutcher, Executive Director for the McCook Housing Agency, explained during a public hearing that after discussion with the Planning Commission earlier in the evening it was decided that issue could be resolved by the development utilizing roll-out trash containers.
Councilors were uncertain whether the suspension of the three-reading rule would be a necessary step in conjunction with approval of the revisions, a step typically announced to the public prior to the meeting and any such suspension. It was ultimately decided to suspend the three-reading rule for the revisions to the site plan so that the developer could meet deadlines pertaining to the construction project.
Councilwoman Janet Hepp was appointed to replace former City Councilman Shane Hilker on the McCook Economic Development Corp. Board of Directors. Hepp will join Councilor Jerry Calvin on the board, with both positions have voting privileges.
Hepp will bring to the MEDC board experience in owning rental property in the McCook area, recently selling two apartment houses north of the courthouse to Red Willow County. The properties were purchased by the county for $160,000 as a possible location for a county jail and the price represented the value of the property combined with 20 years of rental income.
Other items approved:
* McCook Christian Church was authorized to occupy City right of way to create additional off street parking on the west side of West Fourth Street, between West B and West C streets.
* Schmick's Market was granted a special liquor license for a reception at the McCook Art Guild in March.