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FOREST CITY | The City Council has approved a $50,000 Tax Increment Financing appropriation in support of a Forest City daycare center.

The Hanson Family Life Center will receive the appropriation for the 2019 fiscal year, which starts July 1, 2018.

The money will be used for cash flow and day care expansion, according to City Administrator Barb Smith.

"Day care is an economic development issue," she said.

If a town doesn't have adequate day care, employers won't locate there, according to Smith. 

Last year the Forest City YMCA, which also provides day care in the community, merged with the Hanson Family Life Center. 

Forest City Community Schools has a partnership with the YMCA in which 4-year-olds can spend half the day in day care and the other half in preschool.

The YMCA uses classroom space at the elementary for day care, while the district operates the preschool program in a separate space in the building. 

The school district is considering moving fifth-graders from the elementary to the middle school, which would make room at the elementary to expand the day care partnership to include 3-year-olds. 

There's a waiting list at the Hanson Family Life Center for that age group because there isn't enough space for them.

During the Feb. 5 council meeting, Mayor Barney Ruiter said he would like to see the council members approve the $50,000 appropriation for the upcoming fiscal year and revisit the project again in a year.

Councilman Ron Holland said he would rather see a smaller appropriation for the first year to see how it goes. 

The vote in favor of the $50,000 appropriation was 5-1, with Holland casting the dissenting vote. 


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