A special Jamestown City Council meeting is planned for a public hearing and a council vote on a tax exemption for the top four floors of the planned UJ Place, according to Sarah Hellekson, city administrator.

The meeting is Aug. 22 and would be held in conjunction with the Jamestown Public Works Committee meeting routinely scheduled. The meeting is timed to allow the city to meet legal notice guidelines regarding a special meeting while still attempting to meet the project's construction schedule, Hellekson said.

"The city would never intentionally discourage development," Hellekson said, "but we have to stay within guidelines."

UJ Place is a planned mixed use project across the street from Harold Newman Arena on the campus of the University of Jamestown. If constructed, the ground floor will house businesses while the top four floors would provide housing for university students and staff.

Epic Management of Fargo, project developer, had requested a five-year property tax exemption for the top four floors of the building on July 23. The property tax exemption could be granted under North Dakota's tax increment financing laws.

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The Jamestown City Council approved without debate authorizing attorneys to prepare the legal documents granting the exemption for consideration.

In other action, the Jamestown City Council had its first reading of a city ordinance raising the sales tax in Jamestown from 2% to 2.5%. The second and final reading of the ordinance could come on Sept. 2 during the regular City Council meeting. The tax increase would go into effect on Jan. 1.

The Jamestown City Council also approved two maintenance contracts for the Jamestown Civic Center.

Herzog Roofing of Detroit Lakes, Minn., was the sole bidder for a roofing contract at $103,000. The estimate from Interstate Engineering for the project had been $110,000.

Sticky Construction of Thompson, N.D., was the apparent low bidder to replace expansion joints in the wall units at $39,700. Interstate Engineering had estimated the project to cost $71,000.