The city is looking to acquire a piece of vacant commercial property downtown with the hope of eventually attracting a tenant.

Mayor Jeni Quimby at Thursday’s Waterloo City Council meeting laid out a plan to buy the former Tom’s Pizza location, 122 S. Monroe St., which the council accepted. The property was foreclosed by and is now owned by the county.

Clerk/treasurer Mo Hansen explained the benefit of the city purchasing the property is the ability to enter into a developer’s agreement to ensure the buyer will generate some guarantees that will benefit the city and its downtown.

“As far as I’m concerned, I want economic development,” she said. “I don’t want this to be a money maker for the city; I just want to know that it will be used and not just another building that’s purchased and is empty.”

According to a resolution presented to the council, the previous property owner owes Jefferson County $4,120 in delinquent property taxes. As part of the resolution, Waterloo would offer to pay this amount in exchange for the property title. If the city were to acquire the property, the community development authority would conduct a public bidding process.

The resolution outlines that each bidder must submit a commercial plan for the site, which would serve as the primary basis for determining who gets ownership of the building at 122 S. Monroe St. Additionally, if the winning bid generates a municipal sale of more than $4,000, the city will compensate the county “an amount equal to 75% of the amount above and beyond the initial expense of $4,120.”

The mayor suggested the minimum bid for selling the property be $10,000, but that was not part of the resolution. Quimby said the resolution would be contingent on Jefferson County’s approval of the agreement.

Other council action:

• Authorized the purchase of a new police squad car, which will be part of the department’s 2021 budget request.

• Approved waiving municipal permit fees for all lots in the Treyburn Farms subdivision, including multi-unit residential lots. The current resolution pertaining to waiving fees for the subdivision did not include multi-unit residential lots.

• Approved the annual request from the Waterloo Trail Twisters Snowmobile Club for trail to be created to Kwik Trip on Portland Road. • OK’d a permit from the parks department to host the Dec. 12 holiday parade.

• Approved putting out a request for proposals to find compliance officer services as part of the city’s blight remediation policy.

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