County completes $2M land sale to Cargill

Webster County over the past year has purchased several fields next door to Cargill.

Cargill will pay for land it is purchasing from the county over five years, including interest and additional payment for the county’s expenses in gaining the land.

“The county will be made whole,” Supervisor Keith Dencklau said.

Webster County over the past year has purchased several fields next door to Cargill, near the ag park called Iowa’s Crossroads of Global Innovation. The board of supervisors on Tuesday approved a land transfer to turn that land over to the company.

Cargill will pay $2,063,150 for the land, Webster County Auditor Doreen Pliner said, not including other payments.

“They are buying it from us on a contract over five years,” Supervisor Mark Campbell said. “They can pay it off any time. The county will receive 3 percent back on our money during that time, plus they’ve covered our expenses for the transaction.”

The two parcels, noted as Parcel 1 and 2 in the county’s documents, are about 85 acres together. Parcel 3, to the west of these two, remains owned by the county for the time being.

The supervisors bought Parcel 3, about 82 acres, from Kelso C&P Farms for potential future development.

Also, the supervisors will hold a public hearing to add new projects to the county’s Urban Renewal Area.

An amendment will be made to expand the urban renewal area, and enable the use of tax increment financing on four projects:

• Providing tax increment financing to Cargill, Inc. to assist Cargill with the costs of some sanitary sewer and waterworks infrastructure, and in connection with Cargill’s continued business operations;

• Providing tax increment financing support to Crimmins Investment LLC in construction and operation of a new warehouse facility;

• Using tax increment financing to pay for costs of constructing a new industrial building for leasing and use by Iowa Central Community College as a biofuels testing facility;

• Using tax increment financing to pay the costs of acquiring property for future commercial, industrial, and agribusiness development in the ag park known as Iowa’s Crossroads of Global Innovation.

The public hearing will be Jan 29, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. at the courthouse.

Tax increment financing occurs when the increases in taxes resulting from development is reinvested in a designated region.

The supervisors also signed a new contract with IP Pathways for its disaster recovery offsite services.

These changes were needed after upgrades to the county’s servers were completed, said IT Director Andy McGill.

“These contracts have to be updated because we just finished our storage upgrade this week, and with that we found some of the services we were previously using were no longer needed, but also there were some services that needed to increase,” McGill said.

With the disaster recovery services, the county can keep running even if something would happen to its servers here in Fort Dodge.

“Basically we have primary storage here at the courthouse, and it is replicated in their facility down in Des Moines, so if something would happen here, we have a way to run through the internet at their location.”

Land southeast of Fort Dodge is being rezoned to allow for future development just south of Cemstone Concrete Materials.

The two land parcels, located east of Quail Avenue, will be rezoned from A-2, transitional agriculture, to I-1, industrial district.

No plans for the land were announced at Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting.

Chad Bahr, county Planning and Zoning commissioner, said the P & Z commission met on Nov. 27 and unanimously recommended the change. The surrounding area is agriculture and industrial use.

The request for the change came from Dan McGough and Karen Huen, on behalf of the Paul and Veronica McGough Estate/Trust.

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