Human Services Funding, Campustown Parking and Campustown Plaza Design

Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen Photo

Bronwyn's Council Preview

The City Council meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. this Tuesday at city hall. The agenda includes (but is not limited to):

  • 22. Staff Report regarding Campustown Parking and Plaza Design.

    • This staff report is the result of a July workshop in which Council directed staff to consider Parking Lot Y for a public plaza, including a traffic study measuring the impact of closing Chamberlain in that area. The traffic study shows traffic during the peak hour through each intersection, and how that would be affected by closing Chamberlain mid-block for a plaza. 

    • Staff are also reporting back on some strategies for parking in Campustown, which they assert should be considered even if the plaza concept doesn't move forward. Staff suggestions for parking include switching from parallel to angled parking, changing some of the 10-hour limit areas to 2-hour to increase the supply of short-term parking, and making more spaces available in the Intermodal facility. 

  • 23. Resolution approving Revised Preliminary Plat for Scenic Valley Subdivision.

    • Hunziker Development Co, LLC. is seeking to revise their preliminary plat, the biggest modification being a new route for storm water to the northwest. This storm water will be routed onto property owned by Friedrich Land Development, LLC, for a joint storm water retention venture between the two developers.

  • 24. Hearing on RDF Storage Bin Repair Project.

  • 30. Budget Issues/Guidelines.

    • Several years ago the voters of Ames approved 1% sales tax referendum that stated (see the sales tax history):
      "... Revenues from the sales and services tax are to be allocated in the city of Ames in the county of Story as follows: Sixty percent (60%) for property tax relief. The specified purpose for which the revenue shall otherwise be expended is human service agencies, the arts, and community betterment." That is, 60% of sales tax offsets property taxes that pay for services like roads, police and fire protection.  40% is to be expended on "human service agencies, the arts, and community betterment."

      It is often tempting for city councils to use the funds earmarked for "Human Services and the Arts" on items that are traditionally paid for out of the general fund (property tax). (In effect using more than the allowed 60% designated for property tax relief.) 

      This Tuesday Council sets the 2019-2020 funding levels for Human Services (ASSET), the Commission on the Arts, and other "Outside Groups" such as Main St. Cultural District, Campustown Action Association, the Ames Historical Society, etc.

  • 31. Staff Report on transparency regarding tax incentives.

    • In January of 2018, Council requested staff present some options for advance public notice to be given when Council is considering a tax incentive for a business or developer. Staff present several options for how to notify the public that a tax incentive is being proposed before the meeting when we are asked to make our decision, so the public has time to give input.


Non-Agenda Packet: The following items are requests and communications to the council that are not on the agenda.  This includes staff reports and communications/request from constituents/developers. By tradition the council can ask city staff for more information (a report), put the item on a future agenda for discussion or just accept the communication (taking no further action). This usually takes place at the end of the meeting during council comments.

Thanks for reading,

Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen

At-Large Council Member