Marion council to debate "fair play" with Hiawatha

Marion and Hiawatha are agreeing not to go after each other's business.

Tuesday's Marion City Council work session agenda includes discussion of a"fair play" agreement between the cities. City Manager Lon Pluckhahn said the agreement meets new state law governing cities' use of tax-increment financing (TIF).

Passed by the Iowa Legislature this winter, the legislation includes "anti-poaching provisions" to prevent cities using TIF or other incentives to lure businesses from a neighboring community.

"We donít object to each of the communities using economic incentives, provided the business is the one that initiated the contract," said Pluckhahn.

The council will also vote on a contract for construction of the city's new police station and on a 50-year lease for its site.

The present owner of the station site, 6300 N. Gateway Dr. in the Marion Enterprise Center business park, has agreed to the lease in exchange for city-owned property near the current station on Katz Drive. The proposed contract with Miron Construction sets a $10.4 million cost.

The council meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday at city hall, 1225 Sixth Ave. The council may only discuss items on the work-session agenda pending formal action at its Thursday meeting, but will meet in special session to approve the police station lease.


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