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City ‘cautiously optimistic’ on apartment project PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marian Volek   
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 12:20 PM

IRON RIVER—If the name “Apple Blossom Apartments” doesn’t sound familiar, perhaps “Central School Project” will ring a bell for city residents interested in the renovation plans for the former school.
 At the Iron River City Council meeting of June 13, council members approved scheduling a public hearing to introduce an ordinance to provide the developer the ability to impose a 4 percent service charge on the rental units in lieu of taxes.
 This action is required if the developer is to apply for historic tax credits.
 “Since the DDA acquired the project,” said DDA President Jim Gibula, “this is the closest we’ve come to getting it going.
 “It’s as close to a deal as ever.”
 Attorney Ron Basso, representing the project, said it is considered not-for-profit, so applying the service charge will capture approximately $5,500 per year on the unit rentals.
 Additionally, Basso explained, the developer would open the lower level for retail or commercial use.
 “The city will get full taxes from these,” he said.

 “We’re cautiously optimistic about the project,” Basso added.
 A public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 30, at 2 p.m. for input on the project and recommendations for approval of the ordinance.
 in his attorney’s report, Mark Tousignant reviewed briefly the status of the city’s litigation with the county concerning TIF funds.
 The litigation has been reassigned to Judge Celello following the disclosure that Judge C. Joseph Schwedler is a statutory member of the county’s Election Commission, named in the litigation.
 The issue, Tousignant explained, is that all ballot language is to be run through the Election Commission, and, “in 16 years, the commission has never met.”
 “The dynamics of this case are getting more and more interesting,” he added.
 --One bid on the former Hawke property was received and accepted. A bid of $3,500 was made by Julie Melchiori, who indicated to the council she was planning on using the building for a retail sewing/alteration business.
 --Following discussion concerning a fueling partnership proposal from Holiday Stationstores, the council approved putting fuel contracts out on bids.
 --Leonard Lafayette and Dennis Carroll were re-appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
 --Arthur “Bernie” Sacheck was re-appointed to the Board of Review.
 --Terry Tarsi, John Archocosky and Rick Commenator were re-appointed to the West Iron County Sewer Authority.
 --The city will be seeking bids on a sewer vacuum truck, which will be financed as part of the Rural Development sewer project.
 “This is a piece of equipment the city has needed desperately since consolidation,” City Manager John Archocosky wrote in his report to the council.
 --In his report, Iron River Police Chief Mike Goriesky noted 3,945 miles had been logged on patrol for May. Officers made 11 traffic stops. Twelve traffic accidents were reported.
 The department made four assists to the Sheriff Department and made four assists to the Northstar Ambulance service.



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