RISE grant for proposed tomato growing facility, hikes in utility rates on Mason City council agenda tonight

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City meets tonight with a number of things on their agenda:


=== As we first reported yesterday, the council is being asked to approve an application for a Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy program grant to assist with the construction of a road that could help a Minnesota tomato producer build a facility on the city’s south side, resulting in up to 50 jobs for the community. Bushel Boy Farms of Owatonna produces hydroponic tomatoes, meaning that they are grown without soil but instead use mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. They are proposing an 80-acre development south of 43rd Street Southwest and east of Pierce Avenue. The RISE grant would help construct a new road to provide primary frontage access to not only that proposed facility but also for potential new development. The cost of the road is estimated at just over $1.1 million, with the city’s contribution toward the grant to fund the project being at about $222,000.


=== The council will consider the second readings of ordinances that would increase rates for water, sewer, storm sewer and sanitation services. City Administrator Aaron Burnett says the funds from the increases will be used to address infrastructure replacement needs in the community. The water rate increase for a homeowner who averages 500 cubic feet of monthly use would be about $1.19 per month. The sewer rate increase would be about 43 cents per month for the same homeowner. The storm sewer rate increase would be $1 per month over existing rates. The sanitation rate increase will be an additional 55 cents per month, raising the rate from $11.10 to $11.65 per month starting in July. The council approved the first reading of the ordinance at their meeting two weeks ago, with approval on three readings being needed prior to the rate increases going into effect.



The council meets tonight at 7 o’clock in the Mason City Room of the Public Library.