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EDC, city kick in more cash for water line

By Bob Buckel | Published Wednesday, July 24, 2013

As the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money.

The Decatur Economic Development Corporation is spending a total of $326,175 to extend water and sewer service to the site of the new Karl Klement Chrysler on U.S. 287 North.

Monday, the city agreed to kick in another $42,675, matching a final grant to bring the 12-inch water line to the north boundary of the property, paving the way for future development.

And what does the city get for its investment?

Klement, who operates two new-car dealerships and a handful of other businesses in the city, will construct a new dealership valued at $4.5 million, and raise employment at the facility from the current 31 to 50 within a three-year period.

Construction should begin this winter.

The memorandum of understanding signed Monday will extend water and wastewater service to the property and through it, an additional 700 feet, to the north side. That extension means that future development along the highway will be able to tap into city utlities without digging up the property again.

Money involved in bringing utilities to the project includes:

  • $261,500 from the EDC to the city to extend a 12-inch water line 1,100 feet to the property, including engineering, boring, fire hydrants and other equipment;
  • $22,000 from the EDC to the city for wastewater improvements to the site;
  • $42,675 from the EDC to the city to carry the water line to the north end of the property;
  • $42,675 from the city’s Impact Fee Fund to extend the water line and increase it from an 8-inch line to a 12-inch line; and
  • $14,650 from Karl Klement for materials for an 8-inch water line, as required by Decatur’s Subdivision ordinance.

“Mr. Klement will pay the city for the materials for the 8-inch water line,” EDC director Jody Adams told the council at its Monday evening meeting. “We’re splitting the labor with the city. He [Klement] signed it for me today. He’s in agreement with what this says, and he feels like it’s a good project for the city.”

Mayor Martin Woodruff, who also sits on the EDC board along with councilmembers Jay Davidson and Jason Wren, said the water line extension is “a great benefit” to the city’s master plan.

City manager Brett Shannon summed it up for the council.

“Basically the EDC has agreed to kick in an extra $42,675 and the city is going to kick in the same amount,” he said. “We’re splitting the difference, and the end result is, instead of stopping at the south boundary line it will go to the city limit, the north boundary line. We think that’s a good place to stop. That’s the incentive package.”

EDC funding comes from a half-cent of the city’s 1.5-cent sales tax and is designed to go into projects that will increase the city’s tax base and employment.

With all council members present, the vote was unanimous.

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