WATERLOO — The city is rolling out development incentives to help private investors build a new business park near the intersection of U.S. Highways 63 and 20.
Waterloo City Council members voted unanimously Monday to approve an agreement granting up to $1.2 million in property tax rebates to Fusion Investments LLC for its development of the Cedar Valley Crossing commercial and light industrial park.
Council members did not discuss the project before the vote, but resident David Dreyer voiced his concern over the size of the incentive package.
“We’re supposed to be helping them all, yet when we give these kind of percentages for rebates we’re not helping them all,” Dreyer said. “We’re helping those who have money to make more money.”
Cedar Valley Crossing would create 10 lots on 31 acres of land along the east side of U.S. 63, north of Mount Olivet Cemetery and south of a string of businesses including the Highway 63 Diner and Country Estate Fence. The lots will be served by extending Marnie Avenue to create a cul-de-sac.
Community Planning and Development Director Noel Anderson said the city incentives are similar to those provided to Deer Creek Development, which has been creating and selling commercial lots along the west side of U.S. 63 around the former Waterloo Greyhound Park.
Anderson said the arrangement helps the city avoid debt for infrastructure by having private developers pay for the land, streets, sewers, utilities and water lines up front.
The city essentially reimburses the developer out of future property taxes the project generates.
Fusion Investments could receive the full tax incentives if Cedar Valley Crossing generates $1.5 million in new taxable property value by the end of 2021 and at least $4.5 million in new value by the end of 2024. The city will reduce the incentives if those targets aren’t met.
Council members approved a plat for the project in August. Fusion Investment’s Trevis Adair at the time said at least two businesses with an estimated 50 to 60 potential jobs had expressed interest in the site.
In other business, council members unanimously approved:
- A spending plan for about $1.6 million in federal Community Development Block Grant and HOME Program funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The bulk of the money is earmarked for home rehabilitation efforts.
- Making approximately $250,000 in hotel-motel tax grants to local tourism-related organizations and events. The grants, which were recommended by the Experience Waterloo board, come from a 7 percent surtax on overnight lodging in the city.