One Last Dance with the Deery Brothers

The Ames City Council begins at 5:30 with a joint meeting of the Ames City Council and EUORAB with a single addenda item:

  • Item 1. Natural Gas Delivery to Ames Power Plant. The City of Ames provides for its own electric needs. However it must rely on third parties for fuel. The primary source, due to EPA restrictions aimed at decreasing carbon dioxide emissions. While coal used rail as the means of transport, gas utilizes large gas pipelines. The staff recommendation is to allow Aliant Energy to build and operate the pipeline. This will cost Ames electric users an additional $3,000,000 over the next 30 years. Benefits to such a deal, would be Ames' ability to respond to changing fuel technology by not owning the pipeline, and being able to complete the right of way negotiations more quickly. There is great security to owning our own infrastructure. This choice seems a very serious and tough one.
 

The Regular Meeting of the Ames City Council will immediately follow the Joint Meeting of the Ames City Council and EUORAB. The agenda includes:

  • Item 1.   Iowa State University Research Park Phase III. The research park is an economic engine for the City of Ames. Unlike traditional industrial parks, the jobs are very high paying and the impact on local infrastructure is kept to a minimum, as these tech industries deal in information much more than manufacturing. While this project will provide needed space for future businesses, this TIF project in conjunction with a Workiva tax abatement, will amount to $5,500,000 in incentives. That is a lot of money.

     

  • Item 2. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Response Plan and Urban Forest Diversification & Reforestation Program. The City of Ames will work to eliminate the safety risks of the weakening ash trees in public spaces, while educating citizens of the risks on their own properties. In addition the program will work to diversify our tree stock in the community ensuring such infestations will never again impact such a large portion of the communities trees. 

  • Item 27.  Staff report regarding parking standards for fraternities and sororities. While many Fraternities and Sororities are looking to increase the density of the area just west of Cy-Stephens, such increase in densities of individuals while not providing parking spaces, could intensify the already very dense on street parking issues in the Greek area. Council will balance these issues.

  • Item 28.  Resolution approving/motion denying Site Plan Amendment to Deery Brothers Development Agreement. It's been a long time since we were able to discuss the crony capitalism boondoggle of The Deery Brothers project. In the past 10 years, every other operating new car dealer in Ames, Iowa has been able to finance dealership improvements including Wilson Toyota, George White Chevrolet, Ames Ford Lincoln and Honda and Lithia Nissan of Ames without begging for taxpayer dollars to do it. But selling Jeeps apparently just isn't a market activity and requires a $1,200,000 taxpayer handout and gets you the most visible location to sell cars in the City of Ames. This is not the hard work gets rewarded system my dad taught me about.

    I will not be supporting the amendments and again I'll focus on how those dollars could benefit Ames residents: 1/8 of the price of the Grand Avenue Extension cost, a doubling of the Human Services or COTA budget, or a whole lot of bike paths and trails all sound like fairer deals to me.

 

  • Item 29. Resolution approving/motion denying Land Use Policy Plan Amendment of Future Land Use Map for 516 South 17th Street. While the adjacent uses seem compatible with this LUPP change, there is concern that the intense explosion of apartments is being accommodated not through thoughtful planning but through rushed responses to intense market pressures. Last month the Ames City Council discussed the idea that, rather than responding ad hoc to more and more of these requests, a pause on new projects while we evaluate appropriate locations for such uses could be in order. The council will have to balance these ideals, and it most likely will be very, very late by the time they do so.

 

Thanks for reading,

Matthew Goodman

City Council At-Large

 

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