Northwood City Council at a meeting on Oct. 24 approved the designation of a new Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) to spur economic development.
It is situated in the middle of two currently designated CRA’s on the west and east sides of the city, said Administrator Bob Anderson. The issue has been discussed previously at economic development committee meetings.
“The reason we’re doing this is for economic development. There’s a bit of activity there going on right now, so if we could do it by emergency and have it adopted, I think it would be appropriate,” Anderson said to council.
The CRA’s offer companies 100 percent tax abatements for commercial and industrial development. Taxes to the school district would not be abated.
“The commercial and industrial CRA’s are all negotiable. This is the limit of what we can offer. Each individual deal is negotiable with city council,” said Anderson.
Also at the meeting, council considered increasing registration fees for the summer baseball program.
“The Rec Board met, and there was a lot of discussion,” said Council President Connie Hughes, who is council liaison to the board. Anderson and Finance Director Ken Yant recommended raising the fees for the summer ball program, she said. The board recommended that the fee be increased from the current $35 per child to $50 per child with an $85 cap per family.
The board also recommended a fee increase from $50 to $75 per child for the travel gold team, said Hughes, who adding that council will have to act soon because registration for baseball is Nov. 17 and 24 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the community room at the municipal complex on Wales Road.
The proposed ordinance would also place a $500 cap on what the city pays the gold touring team to enter a tournament and $350 for the regular teams.
If the teams want to spend more money to play in more tournaments, they would have to raise the funds privately, said Anderson.
“If we can’t pass it tonight, which I know is a lot to absorb all of a sudden, I would appreciate it if maybe we could consider a first reading and possibly work on it in two weeks so we can get the ordinance in place one way or the other,” said Hughes. “If the ordinance gets passed, then the fliers can be made and sent out to the schools and the fees can be put on the website.” She added that the Rec Board’s budget has been decreased.
“I’d like to recommend a first reading on this,” said Councilman Dean Edwards. “I’d like to have a discussion at the committee of the whole on this topic.”
Council gave the ordinance a first reading, with two more readings required at future meetings before it becomes law. It will also be discussed further at the next finance committee meeting.
Anderson said after the meeting that he and Yant recommended the fee increase “to defray some of the costs that the city incurs.
“We thought it would be best to spread it around,” he said.