By MARK EVANS
Bloomsdale city officials spent a good portion of their half-hour public meeting Dec. 8, discussing the development of land near the fire house with Ben Gegg.
Gregg explained that he is talking to R.J Clement about buying some land on which to build housing units.
How to best handle water and sewer needs were also discussed.
Gregg said he plans to start out with 30 rental units, but would like to eventually expand to 100 – if the need for the existing apartments exists. He thinks it will, since there seem to be plenty of people who would choose Bloomsdale if housing were available.
“Everybody I talk to wants to be in Bloomsdale,” Gegg said. “They want to be close to the interstate. They want to be here.”
While Mayor Paul Monia expressed some concern about how the lift station and sewage system would be a be to handle 100 new units – which he said would likely double the city’s 521 population, there was no opposition to seeng the project get started.
Gregg said, ideally, he “would like to get started framing by June.”
Monia noted that Gegg and Clement would need to work out easement issues down the road. Gregg indicated the that will be no problem.
“It’s all about the sewer, how we want to go about running things,” Gegg said. “I’m just trying to figure out some kind of a plan and come up with some kind of a cost breakdown to where I can budget things for my project.”
“It would definitely require an engineer to do a study on the best way to route that sewer,” Monia said. “I would much rather, as much as I hate to say this would rather stay up on the hill, as opposed to going down off the hill, simply because down off the hill is busy enough. Going off the hill, you’ve got a whole lot more easements to obtain to get to a viable drop.”
The parcel would be part of the land Clement and TAG Development had attempted to create a tax increment financing (TIF) district to help develop. The sloping, rocky ground makes development a challenge. On the other hand, developable land in the county is at a premium.
“At some point, R.J.’s acres and whoever has land up in there, will be developed in the next 50 years,” Gegg said.
He asked about connecting to the lift station at the bottom of the hill, “to carry that whole hillside.”
“I’m not saying that’s out of the question,” Monia said.
Gregg expressed interest in having a “pow wow” with whichever engineering firm the city selects to do its upcoming water/sewer upgrade.
He closed by saying that, although he wants to be in Bloomsdale, he would need to be able to get sewer service within the next year or he would have to “move on to other ideas” in other locations.
THIRD FIRM MEETS ABOUT WATER PLANS
A third engineering firm met with the board after the meeting to discuss possibly bidding on the city’s upcoming water and sewer line update.
The water main replacement will almost certainly lead to needed street repair. This was taken into account when the city pursued a successful pair of half-cent tax measures that passed in the April 2018 election.
Proposition A, which goes for capital improvements, passed 41-16, or by a 71.9 percent to 28.1 percent mark. Proposition B, a transportation sales tax, passed 37-20, or 64.9 percent to 35.1 percent.
Last month the board met with representatives of Taylor Engineering and Cochran Engineering.