Blanding City approves CDA policy
by Katie Boyle
The Blanding City Council approved a Commercial Development Agreement Policy, discussed feedback on the proposed commercial draft policy for the airport, and awarded local teen, Spencer Gosney, the Community Youth Award at their latest meeting.
During a brief March 8 meeting, members of the Blanding City Council unanimously approved a Commercial Development Agreement (CDA) Policy.
The policy allows the city to enter into bilateral agreements with businesses in existing commercial buildings. The agreement allows the city to reimburse up to $25,000 for the cost of labor to install, extend, modify, or renovate the main lines connected to city utilities.
There is a possible, additional reimbursement of up to $10,000 to renovate main lines to meet city and state code requirements.
Staff created a guiding policy to aid in deciding which businesses are viable to enter a Commercial Development Agreement.
The rubric is a point system that awards points based on sales tax revenue, return on investment, potential for growth, existing infrastructure, location, and jobs created by the business. The guiding policy is not binding and can be amended according to the council.
The CDA approval comes following a request made by Sunrise Outfitting. At a previous meeting, Josh Nielson, owner of Sunrise Outfitting, requested that the city help mitigate costs to the business by waiving connection fees.
With a CDA process in place, the city can now evaluate businesses, such as Sunrise Outfitting, with their rubric system.
At the March 8 meeting, City Manager David Johnson reported the city received calls from municipal airport users regarding the draft commercial policy for the airport.
A draft of the policy introduced at the February 22 meeting included a possible change in rental fees for hangar, tie down, and parking.
The city currently charges $100 a month to rent a hangar. The draft recommended the monthly hangar fee be increased by $50 every year until 2026, when the monthly fee of $300 will stay the same.
Councilmember Cheryl Bowers said she heard a lot of feedback of people upset about the increase to the hangar rates.
Bowers said she heard concerns from airport users that the increase to the hangar rental rate would hurt growth at the airport.
“They think that increasing our hangar rental rates is not the way to do that,” said Bowers. "They understand there needs to be an increase, but they thought it was significant compared to what others are charging.”
Johnson reports feedback from local airport users, the field base operator, and regional representatives will give the city additional information and insight as they continue to draft the policy.
“After I got feedback from some of the individuals in the community, they wanted to provide me with some other comparisons to look into,” said Johnson.
Johnson says the feedback and information received will help the city refine their policy before they present it to the council again, likely sometime in April, with finalization to follow.
At the meeting, Mayor Logan Monson presented a Community Youth Award to Spencer Gosney.
Gosney raised $1,200 for the Gentle Ironhawk Womens Shelter. Monson reported that Gosney, a freshman with a 4.0 grade point average at San Juan High School, recruited three friends to fundraise the money.
The four boys visited local businesses to ask for donations and sold raffle tickets at football games, the grocery store, and even sold tickets to neighbors.
Monson explained that Spencer decided on his own to fundraise the money, saying, “He just decided that it was time to make a difference.”