City offers $40,000 aid for platThe Jamestown City Council offered $39,000 in assistance for infrastructure for a plat in northern Jamestown during a special meeting Tuesday. The offer was turned down by the property owner.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown City Council offered $39,000 in assistance for infrastructure for a plat in northern Jamestown during a special meeting Tuesday. The offer was turned down by the property owner.
Nancy Williams owns property adjacent to the Stutsman County Fairgrounds and applied for a building permit. The permit was denied because the water and sewer lines leading to her building site would be longer than allowed by health codes.
Williams then platted the property, which included plans for larger water lines that connected to the city water system at two points, allowing water to circulate. The plat also included a street with a cul-de-sac large enough for fire trucks and other emergency vehicles to turn around.
Reed Schwartzkopf, city engineer, estimated that $39,000 of the total cost, estimated at $108,000, would benefit the city infrastructure beyond the benefit to local residents.
Williams had requested $68,000 in assistance.
“I need a building permit and I want to build this year,” she said. “And I’m not going to pay an extra $40,000 to do it.”
Schwartzkopf said the $39,000 was the minimum he felt confident suggesting as the part of the project that benefited the entire city.
“She has had a lot of expenses unanticipated by her,” he said. “The split is justified as a minimum.”
Council members were reluctant to consider more than the minimum.
“This is taking part in the development of one house,” said Ramone Gumke, city councilman. “We’re doling out $40,000 of the taxpayers’ money to help one person build a home.”
Mayor Katie Andersen felt the city should contribute more and that Williams may have not been given full information when she purchased the lot.
“There seems to be a lot of confusion,” she said. “I feel there is some obligation to correct things if mistakes were made.”
The motion to fund $39,000 passed 3-2 with Gumke, Ken Schulz and Pat Nygaard voting yes and Andersen and Charlie Kourajian voting no.
Williams said she would revisit the issue with the city engineer’s office with the intent of trying to find a way to acquire a building permit. She also said annexing out of Jamestown may be an option.
Immediately after the special City Council meeting, the Jamestown Finance and Legal Committee meeting convened and approved a $25,000 grant for the feasibility study requested by E-Nugget/Carbontec Energy. The funds will be used for matching a grant from the Agriculture Products Utilization Commission.
The committee also passed a $54,000 request for a Flex-Pace Interest buy down for Stoudt Properties. The loan is used to reduce interest costs for a loan to add a building to the current R.M. Stoudt building for lube, tire and detailing operations. At the end of the loan, Stoudt will repay the money to the city.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org