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Crossroads Mall project on the agenda for FD City Council

Budget proposals, department change also to be considered

More proposed budgets, an agreement with the developer acquiring Crossroads Mall and a reorganization of some staff positions are all on the agenda for the Fort Dodge City Council on Monday.

The council will begin its work at 5 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 819 First Ave. S., with a budget workshop. The proposed 2020-2021 spending plans for the Fort Dodge Regional Airport, Karl King Band, Fort Dodge Convention & Visitors Bureau, Blanden Memorial Art Museum and the Fort Dodge Public Library will be considered.

The council’s business meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

During that session, the elected officials will consider an agreement that would give up to $18.2 million in tax increment financing money to Crossroads Plaza Development LLC, of Ankeny. Last year, that firm announced plans to acquire the Crossroads Mall site, demolish the buildings and replace them with a series of smaller structures housing stores, professional offices, and apartments. A hotel is also planned for the site.

The company has already demolished the former Sears store at the mall.

In a report to the council, Vickie Reeck, the community and economic development director, wrote ”A public/private partnership is the only feasible method for a redevelopment of this magnitude in a market the size of Fort Dodge.”

Tax increment financing occurs when increased property tax revenue from a designated area is set aside to be reinvested in that area.

The proposal before the council calls for the developer to receive up to $10 million in grants and up to $8.2 million in forgivable loans.

That assistance would reimburse the developer for acquisition, demolition, site clearance and infrastructure costs.

Also on Monday, the council will consider renaming the Engineering, Business Affairs and Community Growth Department. Pending council approval, the agency would become the Development Services Department, and its director, Chad Schaeffer, will receive the new title of chief development officer.

As part of the same package of changes, Ryan Maehl would move from assistant director of parks, recreation and forestry to assistant to the city manager.