Clarios expansion placed on hold indefinitely

The Red Oak City Council received some disappointing news regarding a proposed expansion project at Clarios.
The council had planned for discussion on tax incentives regarding the project; however, Red Oak city administrator Brad Wright said he found out on the afternoon of July 5 that plans had changed.
“This was a project that has been considered for the past four or five years, and then last fall, things got more serious and they got things put together. Just last month, they got funding through the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and I was contacted and told that the project was now put on hold indefinitely. In fact, I was told they have put a hold on all of the capital projects,” Wright said.
The plan included a 22,000 foot expansion to the building and the addition of around 13 new full-time employees, at a cost of $23 million. When the project will proceed is anyone’s guess.
“They do not know when the project will be moving forward again, and had no additional information, and all I know is that as of now, the project is off,” advised Wright.
Since the building was located outside city limits, Wright had begun a conversation with the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, as the county had to be involved in discussions.
“I had already approached the supervisors and begun a conversation there, of course. I will let the council know if anything about the project changes,” said Wright.
The Council also heard a request from the Red Oak Community School District for a no-parking zone on the east side of 8th Street north of Inman Drive. Wright said the request was to expedite the ability for buses to proceed from the school.
“When the school buses are trying to come out of Inman Drive and come north onto 8th Street, with the traffic coming south from the high school and all of the cars parked along the east side of 8th Street waiting to pick up their kids, it’s very difficult for them to make that turn,” explained Wright. “They are wanting to do a short no-parking area that will allow them to make the turn and get headed north and merge when they have a chance. The total distance of the no-parking area would be 60 feet, with appropriate signage.”
The council approved the no-parking request from the school.
Red Oak Mayor Shawnna Silvius also discussed the potential for the city to submit a Destination Iowa Community application that would provide funding for various city projects.
“The community application is a little more inclusive and allows for multiple projects, which would be more comprehensive. There’s also a Creative Placemaking application that can be submitted by a city or a county, and applications for outdoor recreation and tourism. So I wanted to let the council know that there are people meeting on those, and discussions are being held,” Silvius said.
Councilperson Brian Bills added that in order to be successful in submitting an application, it needed to be as inclusive as possible, and the more projects that could be included in the application, the more of a chance it would be approved.
The item was not on the agenda for official discussion, and no action was taken by the council.
In other business, the council:
• Appointed Bill Jordan to fill one of two vacancies on the Historic Preservation Commission.
• Heard an update from Daric O’Neal and Steve Adams regarding housing incentives in the city.

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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