Input sought for stormwater utility, enterprise zone


Two public hearings will headline Urbana City Council’s first meeting of the new year at 6 p.m. today in municipal court chambers.

The first scheduled hearing concerns the proposed enterprise zone agreement involving the city (municipal corporation), Urbana MOB LLC (property owner) and Memorial Health of Union County (lessee).

The agreement, scheduled to be voted on later in the meeting after the resolution undergoes a third and final reading, centers around Urbana MOB’s plans to construct a two-story, 30,000-square-foot medical ambulatory care building in the Urbana Commons Planned Unit Development (Walmart) on the east side of Urbana.

If council signs off on the matter, Urbana MOB would be given a 10-year tax exemption of 75 percent from the real property taxes resulting from real property improvements to the site, located at the northwest corner of the East U.S. Route 36 and North Dugan Road intersection.

In return for the tax exemption, Memorial Health would create 12 full-time permanent jobs while retaining the 16 full-time positions currently located at the hospital system’s Memorial Primary Care | Urbana office on Scioto Street.

Storm sewer system

The second public hearing scheduled during council’s meeting today involves an ordinance establishing a stormwater utility fee as well as a Stormwater Utility Review Committee.

The measure, which will undergo a second reading, proposes a $5 flat fee per meter per month be added to all city utility bills regardless of residential, commercial or industrial classification. The fee would be charged to non-city utility customers as well.

If approved later this month, collections would begin in March, and all fees collected would go into a new enterprise fund – the Stormwater Fund. Money in this fund would be used for stormwater operations (up to 30 percent of the total funds) and infrastructure improvements only.

After the first five years of collections, the Stormwater Utility Review Committee would determine the success of the utility and whether a rate increase is needed. Any increase can’t exceed 10 percent of the current rate.

In other business:

•An ordinance seeking to rezone a 34,543-square-foot, triangular-shaped parcel located behind 207 Bloomfield Ave. will undergo a third and final reading.

If passed, the parcel, owned by J&J Champaign, would be rezoned from R-2 Medium Density Residential District to M-1 Manufacturing District.

Community Development Manager Doug Crabill has informed council the business eventually wants to sell the property as it has moved to a new location on East U.S. Route 36. Rezoning the parcel in question would allow the company to sell all the parcels at 207 Bloomfield Ave. under the M-1 zoning distinction, he added.

•Council will consider an administrative request to authorize a $43,000 purchase order to Smartbill for monthly utility bill printing, mailing, and postage for 2017.

By Joshua Keeran

[email protected]

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-508-2304 or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

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