June 26, 2018

Carroll’s City Council discussed supporting a new housing project in Carroll in addition to moving forward with several recreational projects during its meeting Monday.

Council members spoke with Dave Walters of Green Stream Homes of Iowa about the possibility of offering incentives to the development company to build apartment buildings and duplexes in Carroll.

The council also approved a bid for equipment for an all-inclusive playground in Carroll.

Green Stream Homes would build two 30-unit, three-story, market-rate apartment buildings, along with eight owner-occupied duplex buildings. The proposed plan likely would involve the second apartment building being built only after the first was largely occupied, and additional duplex buildings being built only as the first ones sold.

The buildings would be on the city’s east side, near the Social Security Administration building.

The apartments all would be two-bedroom units with a “higher level of interior finishes,” according to information from the city. Each unit would include a washing machine and dryer, granite countertops, oak cabinets and hardwood floors throughout most of the units.

The targeted rent for the apartments is $950 to $1,000 per month, with six-month or one-year leases, while the duplexes would be marketed in the range of $240,000 each, according to information from the city.

“I don’t want someone changing their oil out in the driveway,” Walters told the council Monday. “The rents will be high enough that we’ll attract the people that are working steadily.”

Based on general recommendations that residents spend no more than 30 percent of their incomes on rent, the apartments would be targeted at people who make $19 an hour or more, City Manager Mike Pogge-Weaver said Monday.

“I know Carroll’s only 10,000 people, but you have a lot of people traveling into Carroll from other areas, and we’re hoping to pick up a lot of those folks,” Walters said. “This is a clean town. It’s a nice town. I think you have a real need here.”

The developer’s proposal is that the city establish an urban-renewal district where the apartments and duplexes would be built and provide a tax increment financing rebate in relation to the development.

Councilwoman Carolyn Siemann suggested the city incentivize only the duplexes, arguing that demand for apartments is high enough in Carroll that the apartment buildings would be successful without incentives. She cited the county’s recent housing study, in which respondents noted the need for several levels of homes, townhouses and senior living before apartments.

However, Walters said, the developer would consider building in Carroll only if both projects received incentives.

“There’s so many areas in Iowa that need this kind of building,” he said. “We’re going where we can get an incentive. It is a risk. I don’t know 100 percent if we can come in (and be successful). I hope I’m right, but if not, we need some type of incentive.”

City staff members will continue to work with both the developer and Des Moines law firm Ahlers & Cooney to determine if the development is a possibility for Carroll.

The council also voted Monday to accept a $165,000 bid from Boland Recreation in Marshalltown for all-inclusive playground equipment that will be installed at Northeast Park.

The playground — fundraising for which was dubbed “Kellan’s Kingdom,” in honor of Kellan, the young son of Alie and Pat Tigges — will include a variety of features: molded bucket seats with harness swings, two-seated face-to-face swings, high-back spinner, roller table, roller slide, dual zip lines — one with a bucket seat and harness, and one with a rope disc seat, wheelchair swings, an elevated sand table and more.

The equipment will arrive within six to eight weeks after it is ordered, Carroll Parks and Recreation Director Jack Wardell said.

Cement will be poured beneath the rubber surface. The cement base portion of a project like this typically is taken on locally rather than by the playground company, Wardell said.

Pat Tigges noted that he has spoken with several local companies who are willing to donate labor and discounted supplies to help pour the cement base.

Fundraising from the Tigges family and a variety of volunteers and businesses will round out the $50,000 the city contributed to the project to reach the $165,000 budget — and additional fundraising and grant dollars are available if additional costs arise, Pat Tigges told the council Monday.

In other news, the council:

— voted to enter into a contract with Badding Construction for Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant upgrades to the main entrance of the Carroll Recreation Center, a project estimated to cost $54,500.

— approved the annual renewal of the city’s property and liability insurance, estimated to cost $242,661 — about $16,700 less than what the city paid the previous year. The city planned for $276,000 in its budget for insurance.

— approved plans and specifications for the construction of six pickleball courts at Northwest Park. Early cost estimates for the project suggest that it could cost about $50,000 more than the $175,000 the council previously approved in this year’s budget for the project. Council members asked Wardell and proponents of the sport to brainstorm ways to fill the $50,000 funding gap before the next council meeting on July 9. Bids are out for the project and could be available for the council’s review at its next meeting.

— approved a $23,601 construction services agreement with Confluence, a landscape architecture and urban design company in Des Moines, an addition to Phase 9 of the city’s downtown streetscape project that involves “construction observation services.”

— approved a re-subdivision requested by Al’s Corner Oil Co. and Jeffrey M. Schaben of Pit Stop Auto Wash of about 4 acres located on the north side of Plaza Drive, west of Griffith Road.

— voted to waive the city’s right to provide water service to Mike Janning at 21804 160th St. in Maple River after a request from the West Central Iowa Rural Water Association to provide the service.

reminded Carroll residents that it is illegal to shoot off fireworks within city limits; the accompanying charge includes a minimum fine of $250, although a judge could choose to increase that fine.