August 31, 2009

News Release

For Immediate Release

Special Council Meeting Considers Property Purchase, Sale

The Springfield City Council will hold a special meeting at noon, Tuesday, Sept. 1, to consider two bills authorizing the City to purchase the Springfield Mill and Lumber property and sell a separate parcel to the Jordan Valley Community Health Center.

Council Bill 2009-224 would authorize the sale of a lot at Jefferson Avenue and Phelps Street to be used for parking for the Jordan Valley Community Health Center. The sale price is $141,649. The City acquired this lot as part of a larger parcel in 1999 using Level Property Tax funding for stormwater acquisition and improvements. A portion of the original parcel was split off for parking for the Missouri State Crime Lab.

The City also has performed Brownfields testing and remediation on the site, using federal Brownfields grant funding. The sale proceeds will be returned proportionate to the two funding sources with 63 percent going back into the Level Property Tax fund and 37 percent returned to the Brownfields fund. The sale proceeds cover the City’s pro rata costs for acquisition and Brownfields work on this portion of the original tract of land. The Health Center has identified additional parking as a high priority to serve its clients and staff.

Council Bill 2009-223 would authorize the purchase of the Springfield Mill and Lumber site at 216 W. Central St., for $1.5 million. The property would be acquired primarily with $1,473,900 in federal Housing and Urban Development Economic Development Initiative funding designated for property acquisition in the Jordan Valley redevelopment area, which includes the Government Plaza.

The EDI funding includes a portion of the proceeds from the sale of several properties to Missouri State University for ongoing development of the Jordan Valley Innovation Center and IDEA Commons. The City used EDI funds to purchase the majority of the property sold to Missouri State. The proceeds proportionate to the EDI funds have to be returned to that fund and used for the same approved purposes of fostering redevelopment within the designated area. About $26,100 in Level Property Tax funds authorized to acquire property consistent with the Vision 20/20 long-range plan completes the acquisition funding and closing costs.

The EDI funding expires Sept. 30, 2009, so this federal funding would be lost if it is not used by that point.

The City has been reviewing potential acquisition sites for several years for use of the federal EDI funding. This property, offered by willing sellers, falls into the footprint area for Government Plaza.

The 2.8-acre parcel includes a 13,756-square-foot showroom built in 2000 and several storage buildings within a security-fenced perimeter. The property became available when the owners closed the business earlier this year.

The long-term use for the property is not specifically identified at this point, pending future funding availability. One possibility could be construction of a new Municipal Courts facility, which is one of the recommendations of the recent Safety and Justice Roundtable report that identified the overcrowded and inadequate conditions of the current Municipal Court building as a high-priority need.

The City will consider several immediate interim uses for either the property itself or the current facilities on the property, primarily in the public-safety departments. Some potential uses include:

Fire Department: Inclement weather protection for certain types of training; covered storage for fire apparatus currently stored outside; area for exercises such as practice explosive sweeps and annual ground-ladder testing;

Police Department: Use of the main showroom building as a classroom training facility; covered storage for police vehicles, including the DWI van.

Emergency Management: Covered, secure storage for OEM vehicles, including the Mobile Command Center.

Public Works: Covered storage to extend the vehicle life of equipment such as dump trucks and street sweepers.

Tuesday’s special City Council meeting will take place in the 4th floor conference room of the Busch Municipal Building. It is open for the public to speak on either bill. The public hearing will be continued to the regular Council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 8, when the bills will be on the agenda for second reading.

For more information, contact: City Manager Greg Burris, 864-1006.

city of springfield

Office of the City Manager

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1000 • Fax: 417-864-1912 • springfieldmo.gov