Perry’s property tax abatement plan took legal effect barely three days ago, and already there is stir in the local property markets.
The Perry City Council approved Monday some minor changes to the plat of the Sunflower Flats housing subdivision near Eighth and North streets and learned from the subdivision’s developer that most of of the parcels in Sunflower Flats have been spoken for, and four will close immediately after the council’s plat adjustments.
“Currently I have commitments on 22 of the 27 lots that are there,” said Cannon Clark of the Clark Development Corp. and VIA Group. “We expect to have four houses under construction before the end of October.”
Clark said appetites for the lots should be further whetted Friday afternoon at the planned groundbreaking and open house at Sunflower Flats, featuring food, drinks and live music by Planet Passengers.
Council member Dr. Randy McCaulley noted that although he and council member Barb Wolling were absent from the last meeting, when the property tax abatement plan was approved, the public should rest assured all the members of the Perry City Council are “100 percent behind this plan.”
“It’s really already had an impact on our community,” McCaulley said, “and there’s some good news coming our way as far as housing.”
“It really is important, the tax abatement and urban revitalization,” said council member Wolling.
Perry Mayor Jay Pattee seconded the council members’ enthusiasm for the housing initiative.
“In my opinion, Perry got a lot of free advertising over this,” Pattee said, “and it was all positive that I heard. It didn’t matter if you were reading it in the paper, hearing it on the radio or watching it on television, we had it all going last week, and I think it was a real positive deal.”
City Administrator Sven Peterson, newly returned from his Continental tour, reminded the council the Dallas County Habitat for Humanity Rock the Block event runs Wednesday through Saturday of this week. Habitat for Humanity’s efforts are equally valuable to the city’s low-income or workforce housing stock.
“Be sure and sign up,” Peterson said. “I know there’s quite a few projects out there that they’re going to be working on, and they’ll be needing volunteers, so if you’ve got some time, lend a hand.”
Peterson also said construction bids for the North Street extension project, which will connect 16th and 18th streets via North Street, are due by Tuesday.
“North Street bids tomorrow,” Peterson said, “so cross your fingers for low bids.”
Matt Ferrier of Bolton and Menk, the city’s engineering consultant, said the engineer’s estimate for the North Street construction project is $1.6 million.
A portion of the connector trail linking the Raccoon River Valley Trail and the High Trestle Trail between Perry and Woodward will also run alongside the North Street extension. The bicycle trail will be paid for by Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) funds.
Discussion of Perry’s progress moved from the northeast side to the southwest side when Josh Shields of Bolton and Menk and Rick Koehler of Spring Lake Construction gave the council an update on progress at the Perry Soccer Complex in Pattee Park. Koehler said he hopes to see the grading, drainage, and seeding work done by Sept. 30.
Council member Chuck Schott praised the work so far accomplished on the new facility.
“The other day I happened to be heading out of town in that direction,” Schott said, “and that place caught my eye. I did not anticipate all the work that’s been done and how the layout of that whole scenario’s coming together. It was just fantastic. In fact, I turned around and went back and parked there and got out and looked. It was so impressive.”
The council approved the $56,000 pay request by Spring Lake Construction for the first phase of the work.