The Monmouth City Council met earlier this week, and made a number of substantial approvals. A demolition permit from Fareway Foods was submitted and approved by the council; the start of the demolition process of the old K-Mart building on North 6th Street is expected to begin no later than the beginning of August.
Another substantial building agreement was approved by the council on Monday; The Crossing Church has reached a lease agreement with the City on a five-year agreement with potential for two additional terms. City Administrator Lew Steinbrecher discussed the approval:
“We’re excited to have The Crossing coming to town, and it really does address some financial issues that the city has been dealing with here over the past several years. We’re anticipating that they take possession on Aug. 1, and I believe that they’ve indicated that services will begin after Labor Day,” he said.
Perhaps the most important issue discussed at Monday’s city council meeting was the approval of a utility tax increase for the City. A 1.25 percent tax increase on residential electric and gas customers should increase bills by an estimated $3.20 to $4.00 per month. The move is expected to generate approximately $362,000 annually for the City. Steinbrecher touched on the importance of the move for the City’s general fund budget:
“We’ve come in in a deficit position the last couple years, so these funds will really allow us to continue to provide much-needed public safety and public works services to the community,” he said.
And lastly, the city council listened to a proposal for Hale Solar Farm LLC on a possible community solar farm in Hale Township. The project could generate up to four megawatts of energy, which is enough to power close to 900 homes. The proposed farm would not be in City limits. However, it does require a special use permit and is immediately adjacent to Monmouth. The project is still in the preliminary planning stages and is in the early permitting stages with Warren County.
written by Jackson Kane