WARSAW — The city council chamber was somber at noon Monday, Oct. 5, for the monthly Warsaw Redevelopment Commission meeting. Pre-meeting conversation was almost non-existant, except to reflect among each other about the missing board member. When the meeting started, the seat of president remained vacant but his name plate was missing.
This was the first city meeting conducted since loosing one of its board members and resident, Charlie Smith.
Jeremy Skinner, city planner, stated Smith had been president for the last two to three years and was a huge part in the progress made by the city in redevelopment. Skinner noted Smith’s support of such projects as Winona PVD, Warsaw Tech Park, Market Street and Buffalo Street. “His leadership will be missed.”
Commission members took the opportunity to also share brief comments. “You can’t count the good Charlie has done since he’s been here. He will be missed,” stated Rick Snodgrass, who as vice president will oversee the commission. Tim Meyer agreed with Snodgrass adding, “You always knew his motivation was in the best interest in this community,”
George Clemens noted Smith was a good and loyal friend, “He was a great guy who had a spirit about him that all admired and appreciated. I’ll miss him a lot.”
The meeting then focused on three resolutions dealing with proceeding with Winona PVD expansion. Randy Rompola, Faegre Baker Daniels, explained each of the three resolutions — bond issue, bond appropriation and disposition of personal property to Winona PVD. All three resolutions passed unanimously by commission members.
Rompola stated the bond will total $865,000 to support the company’s expansion. He also explained the traditional means of having funds available to cover bond payments: coming from the TIF district, the company and as a last resort, a tax levy. He also noted the resolution notes the rate would not exceed 6.5 percent and covering a time frame of February 2016 to February 2030.
A public hearing was conducted on the second resolution, dealing with the bond appropriation. There were no public comments made. The final resolution, the disposition covered the purchase of certain pieces of equipment by Winona PVD. “We are looking to sell the bonds in early November and close mid November,” Rompola stated.
Moyer questioned what the interest rate may actually be. Andrew Mouser with H.J. Umbaugh, stated they are projecting rates of 1.75 percent to just over 4 percent for that time period.
The final action of the day was approval of an accounting services agreement with Umbaugh for a fee of $40,000.
During other business the commission approved claims for: Regions, in the amount of $750 to handle bond issues; Troyer Group, in the amount of $487.14 for engineering of Mariner Drive; Phend & Brown, for $33,300 for Mariner Drive construction and A & Z Engineering in the amount of $8,010 for the design of the Husky Trail roundabout.
Commission members also discussed the possibility of participating in the city’s investment opportunity with TIF funds. Skinner explained the commission would have funds to invest that are “just sitting there,” while projects are underway. Further information and discussion will be held when the action is taken on the opportunity.
Prior to adjournment a question was raised on procedures for replacing Smith. Mayor Joe Thallemer stated his position was by mayoral appointment. “I will name his replacement at the appropriate time. I don’t want to think about it or talk about it until he is laid to rest, out of respect to him,” stated Thallemer, noting an appointment would be made by the next commission meeting at noon, Nov. 2.