Good evening and welcome to the second to the last Ames City Council meeting for 2013. A couple of agenda items of note this evening. The council will hold a hearing on a $2 million tax abatement for Kingland Systems $20 million dollar building that will serve as the cornerstone for a Campustown redevelopment. The council will also consider a flood mitigation strategy that calls for a new Highway 30 bridge over the Skunk River and channel work on the Skunk and Squaw Creek. The city hopes to pursue FEMA grants to offset some of the cost of the plan. Also, the council will hear a request for traffic improvements on S. Duff Ave. that would see the intstallation of a new traffic signal and concrete median that would limit the number of left turns across traffic thereby reducing the number of accidents.
7:00PM--The council recognized championships won by the Ames High football, cross country, girls swimming, and drill teams.
7:16PM--Council hearing about S. Duff issues. City traffic engineer Damion Pregizer says injury accidents along a quarter-mile section of the street is 1.5 times above the state average for injury accidents. He says some businesses are concerned that that median would limit access to their buildings
7:38PM--2nd Ward Council Member Jami Larson, half in jest, brings up the idea of a roundabout to handle some of the traffic in front of the Super Wal Mart store. Five people in the audience's heads exploded.
7:46PM--We are 30 minutes into this discussion.
8:01PM--A number of property owners say their business will suffer if the median is installed. Owner of land where 20th Century Bowling sat says he's had prospective businesses tell him they won't build on the land if the median is installed.
8:11PM--55 minutes in...
8:22PM--1 hour, six minutes in... At-Large Council Member Matthew Goodman asks for something he'll never get--consensus from business owners in the area. It's clear that as long as a median is part of the conversation, no consensus will be possible...
8:35PM--Total discussion time, one hour, 19 minutes. Council directs staff to continue to study the plan, with median, and negotiate issues with area property owners.
8:40PM--On Kingland/Campustown issue, City Manager Steve Schainker says the new plan drops a provision that the company maintain 75% of the building's first floor for retail space in the 10 years after the tax abatement is fulfilled.