By a split vote, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors rejected a request for an annual contribution of $37,581 to the Region 6 Housing Trust Fund at Tuesday morning’s regular meeting.
Marty Wymore, who is the executive director of Region 6 Resource Partners, was on hand to present the application and explain the mission of the trust fund, which provides assistance to low-income homeowners who want to make improvements – anything from roof, siding and window repairs for boiler and sewer upgrades – and also helped developers create low-income rental housing in the county.
“We’ve done a variety of repairs to help homeowners stay in their homes and preserve the affordable housing stock we have in Marshall County and area,” Wymore said.
Major recipients of funding in recent years have been the downtown Tallcorn and former Iowa Wholesale properties and the State Street loft project, which is still under development. Wymore said if the requested local contributions are secured, Region 6 could potentially access approximately $414,009 in grant funds from the Iowa Finance Authority.
While the county was receiving tax increment funding (TIF) dollars for the Harvester project in rural Rhodes, regulations stipulated that a portion should be set aside for low-to-moderate income housing. Thus, the county contributed $27,750 to the trust fund in 2021, $25,753 in 2020, $36,530 in 2018, $36,530 in 2017, and a total of $66,530 over two payments in 2016 for a total of one. just over $193,000 over the past six years, according to the auditor. /Recorder Nan Benson.
Now that the TIF period has expired, however, any contribution would now have to be taken from the county’s general base fund, and council chairman Dave Thompson and supervisor Bill Patten expressed hesitation in supporting such a move for this reason.
Thompson asked Wymore for a breakdown of how much of the money goes to owner-occupied homes versus rental properties, and he replied that aside from contributions totaling $400,000 to the three aforementioned rental construction projects, the rest went to help around 100 Marshall County homeowners make improvements, with the average project eligible for around $15,000 in assistance.
Ultimately, a motion to approve the contribution failed by a 2-to-1 vote, with Thompson and Patten opposing it and Supervisor Steve Salasek voting in favor. In a later interview, Thompson said he didn’t see much benefit to Marshall County taxpayers contributing to the general fund, citing the example of Region 6’s contributions to the Iowa Wholesale building nearly matching his Evaluation.
“I’ve been very vocal for the past three years (that) when the Harvester TIF dried up and those funds should come from the core general part of our budget, that I’ve struggled to sustain it,” did he declare. “From a business perspective, it doesn’t give the county a very good return on investment.”
Thompson said he would be more likely to support a revised request if the funds were only used to support owner-occupied housing.
Wymore expressed disappointment with the decision, noting that the other three counties comprising Region 6 – Hardin, Poweshiek and Tama – had all consistently approved their annual contributions. He still plans to explore other funding options to meet the threshold before the deadline in 30 days, including individual cities in Marshall County, private nonprofit organizations and developers.
“It’s unfortunate now that we’re in this position, but we’ll work hard to find options moving forward,” Wymore said. “We don’t want to lose money.
Earlier in the meeting, the board approved a host of personnel changes, including a reshuffle of the Veterans Affairs Commission with Laurel Degelau joining as the new commissioner and Julie Miller stepping down as commissioner but moving to a post. part-time administrative assistant. at an hourly rate of $17.47. Ian Winfield was hired as the new deputy sheriff at $28.37 an hour with new jailer Judge Dannen at $20.41 an hour. Sheriff Joel Phillips said the department was “almost back to full staff” and expressed excitement about the hires.
The board opted to leave a decision on the Marshall County Communications Commission’s county funding application on the Emergency Radio Project Access and Maintenance Fee filed, with Patten suggesting taking “a little more of time” before putting the item to the vote.
In other cases counsel:
• Approval of a lease with First Interstate Bank (formerly Great Western Bank) for the temporary use of courthouse offices at 11 N. First Ave. in Marshalltown.
• Approved the extension of unused vacation for Kim Elder until September 1, 2023.
• Approval of a request to rent seashells for an Emerson employee event on September 12th.
• Approved a status change for Rob Crandon from TD2 to TD3 with a salary adjustment from $27.41 to $27.75 per hour.
• Approved a change in status for Wesley Spencer from Mechanic 1 to Mechanic 3 with a wage adjustment from $27.72 to $27.88 per hour.
• Approval of a copier rental contract with Xerox for veterans and public health.
• Approved the consent program as indicated.
Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or