The Wilton city council held several public hearings throughout the May 26 meeting. The first was to rezone around four acres of land along Fifth Street, north of the CBI Bank & Trust and WTC Communications area, to accommodate an independent living senior community that will be built by Woda Cooper Companies.
The land would be rezoned from commercial to R2 multi-residential.
The site will be known as Chandler Pointe and will feature 35 apartments for seniors age 55 and over. According to documentation provided to council members, Chandler Pointe will feature 23 – 2-bedroom apartments and 12 – 1-bedroom apartments and the building will be two levels with elevator.
Price range for the 2-bedroom apartments will be $380-$715, and the 1-bedroom apartments will be $315-$610. City Administrator Chris Ball noted that Chandler Pointe will also lease a proportion of its units to low-income seniors, including six units at 30 percent of Muscatine County’s Average Median Income (AMI) ($21,000); 11 units at 40 percent of Muscatine County’s AMI ($28,000); and 14 units at 80 percent of Muscatine County’s AMI ($56,000). According to documents, Muscatine County’s average 2-person Median Income is $58,500.
The four remaining units will be available at market rate.
Planned timeline for the building’s construction is receiving housing credits from Iowa Finance Authority in August, with final design and permitting phase from September to April 2021. Construction will begin in May 2021, with a grand opening in May 2022.
Ball said that a thorough presentation was given at a recent planning and zoning meeting and there was “100 percent support” from those in attendance. He said some neighbors to the north of the site have wondered about water drainage in the area, which he said will need to be a priority during construction.
He said Woda Cooper will prelease units three months prior to the grand opening.
Dan Marine of Oak Tree Homes was present at the meeting and spoke to council about the city’s zoning and other code-related regulations. He urged council to better enforce code standards for building projects throughout the city in order to have a “consistent even playing field.”
Mayor Bob Barrett said the city did not have a building inspector on staff but perhaps in the future one could be shared among several small cities or one could be brought in from a larger city, or perhaps a retired individual could provide some consulting on projects. “You’d see the cost of your building permits go up,” said Barrett, if the city were to employ its own inspector.
Ball said he’d do some research on the topic. The hearing was closed and the land was rezoned. The senior living project will move forward.
City Hall façade plans reviewed
Council members were presented with exterior rehabilitation plans for City Hall in the amount of $444,203.05. Ball noted during a pubic hearing that the funds have already been borrowed for the project and that extensive renovations were ongoing on the building’s interior.
Barrett said the city needed to do the repairs to the building. “We needed to do something. It’s our responsibility to take care of this structure for years to come. Some of these things should have been done 30 years ago.”
The hearing was closed and the plans were approved.
Activity at Freedom Rock site
Council member Ted Marolf said that landscaping work was ongoing at the Muscatine County Freedom Rock site near the Wilton Depot. Site work was done and bricks were being put down in the area. Freedom Rock artist Bubba Sorensen II was also on-site painting the rock.
Marolf said brick pavers are still being sold for placement at the site. At the time there were 205 sold but the desire was to have 1,000 bricks spoken for and sales will run through July. At some point, a ceremony will be held at the Freedom Rock site but the “when” was up in the air due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
* Ball said that the Wilton Public Library would remain closed but is still offering curbside services.
* Late fees for city services were suspended through June due to COVID-19 but will once again be charged. He urged residents to set up a payment plan if behind.
* After light discussion, Ball said the city would purchase tablets for the remaining council members who don’t have them in order to continue providing materials online. He said city email addresses would also be created for council members.
* A capital improvement plan meeting will be held at 6 p.m. June 8, prior to the next meeting.
In other action, council:
* Approved a $10,000 allocation to the Wilton Pool as part of the annual city-school agreement.
* Approved annual Tax Increment Financing (TIF) loan agreements for seven area businesses for a total of $100,422.30.
* Approved a liquor permit for wine at Blooming Ideas. It was noted that the business no longer needed a beer permit.
* Approved pay application No. 7 to Precision Builders in the amount of $51,712.20 for work on the City Hall renovation project.
* Held a public hearing and later adopted a budget amendment for FY2020.
* Held a public hearing and later approved allowing Wilton Retirement Community to renegotiate interest rates on just more than $1.9 million in revenue bonds through Hills Bank & Trust.
* Approved a land swap with Triple B Construction for land in the city’s Industrial Park that will be used for a storm water project. However, Triple B will be able to lease a 150-by-60 foot area in the northeast corner to continue displaying sheds and hunting blinds.
* Approved the hiring of Austen Croson for the parks position, which will include 35 hours per week at around $16 per hour.
* Approved a request from IPC to asphalt a parking area that is currently gravel.
* Approved the monthly bills.
* Approved a parade route that mirrored that of Founders Day, for Wilton seniors May 31, for a class of 2020 grad parade.
* Wilton Development Corporation Director Becky Allgood said there was a desire to build three more homes in Wilton’s south end where the other two were built. She said sidewalks also needed to be poured in the area.
* Mayor Barrett acknowledged former City Clerk Lori Brown, who retired May 29 after 40 years of service with the city.
All action taken was unanimous. Members Steve Owens, Marolf, Wayne Budding, Sheryl Lenker and Keith Stanley were present. The next regular meeting is June 8 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room.