Successful economic development means not only recruiting new businesses but also retaining existing ones and helping them grow.
The City Council gets a chance to help with both Tuesday night.
• There’s consideration of a development agreement that would bring a national retail store, about 25,000 square feet and employing 40 or more people, to the Willow Creek shopping center.
The store has not been identified, so the guessing game is on among the coffee shop prophets in Mason City.
• There’s a proposed incentive package for the Dimensional Group to add about 27,000 square feet to its North Jackson Avenue plant and hire 10 to 12 employees in the next year. The property is expected to increase in value by about $800,000. In turn, the city would provide a 100 percent tax rebate for the next 10 years.
• There’s also a proposed amendment to a development agreement with Aeron Advanced Manufacturing LLC.
The city approved the agreement with Aeron in April 2010, calling for the company to invest about $1 million in building improvements and to add 33 jobs in the next three years. In return, the city provided a $33,000 loan to assist with the project.
The loan was to be forgiven in three years if the jobs were created and the improvements were made.
Aeron has met all the provisions of the agreement except modifications to its loading dock.
It is asking for a one-year extension of the agreement to complete the project.
Should the council refuse, the company would be obligated to pay back the $33,000.
A previous council was not sympathetic to a company that asked for an extension on an agreement.
In 2003, IC System sought to expand and move into a new location.
It asked for city financial help and agreed to add 200 employees in the next five years or pay the city $1,850 for every job it fell short of the 200.
In 2007, as the five-year deadline approached, the company had added 104 jobs. It asked for a two-year extension on its agreement.
By a 3-3 vote, the council said no, requiring IC System to pay the city $177,600.
But that was yesterday, and yesterday’s gone. So, by the way, is IC System.
Reach John Skipper at 421-0537 or email@example.com.