Preparing for progress

FD council action supports NestlePurina, downtown

-Messenger photo by Bill Shea
Building owners in downtown Fort Dodge, seen here looking east down Central Avenue, would have a another source of potential financing for repairs under a program the City Council began laying the groundwork for Monday evening. The council approved an amendment to the Center City and Industrial Park Urban Renewal Areas that will benefit downtown and the expansion of Nestle Purina PetCare.

The expansion of Nestle Purina PetCare and some qualifying downtown building projects would benefit from a measure approved by the Fort Dodge City Council Monday.

With Monday’s move, the council laid the groundwork for providing $1.6 million over 10 years to Nestle Purina through tax increment financing.

“This is a good project,” said Councilman Dave Flattery, who presided over Monday’s meeting in the absence of Mayor Matt Bemrich. “This is the Nestle expansion.”

The council addressed more than that expansion, however. It also began the process of setting aside $500,000 from the economic development revolving fund to provide credit support to qualifying businesses needing money for building upgrades downtown and in the rest of the urban renewal area.

To achieve both of those aims, the council amended the Center City and Industrial Park Urban Renewal Areas.

Councilmembers Cameron Nelson and Megan Secor were absent from the otherwise unanimous vote to amend the areas.

Nestle Purina PetCare has a cat food plant at 2400 Fifth Ave. S. An expansion of the facility announced in February will add 50 new jobs and $200 million worth of capital investment.

The City Council had previously committed to providing $1.6 million to the company over 10 years. Amending the Center City and Industrial Park Urban Renewal Areas enables the city to use tax increment financing to get that money. Tax increment financing occurs when increased property tax revenue from a designated area is set aside to be reinvested in that area.

The credit support program for building owners downtown is intended for those who are unable to get conventional financing for interior or exterior work on their structures.


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