BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST POINT – West Point city officials approved a plan to repave a section of Avenue D through town, but at no cost to tax payers.
The West Point City Council voted 4-0 with Brian Meierotto abstaining to accept a paving gift from the Merschman family, at a special meeting Tuesday at the American Legion Hall.
The Merschman family agreed to repave the section of Avenue D, which is the main east-west road through West Point, as a gift to the city.
The work will take about five weeks to complete and is expected to start this week. The repaving will take place from 4th Street west to the gravel road past Merschman Seeds.
West Point City Administrator Dennis McGregor said the value of the project is slightly more than $300,000.
The move was originally part of a proposal by the Merschman family to repave the section of the highway in exchange for the city vacating Avenue C, but McGregor said that proposal is not under consideration at the time.
Joe Merschman spoke to city officials at the last regular meeting about the plan, but another contractor present at the meeting caused a snag in the proposal saying there was value to the city in vacating the property and the work should be bid out. Merschman then pulled the offer off the table.
In an unrelated issue, the council also voted 4-0 to approve a resolution in support of an Iowa Economic Development Authority Workforce Housing Tax Credit, for developments taking place on the city’s south side.
Michael Mohrfeld, with Green Oak Development, has been working with a home building program out of Iowa Prison Industries. Mohrfeld said his company would buy the homes from Iowa Prison Industries, subcontract the concrete foundation work, and then bring utilities to the home that would be trucked in from Newton. While that work is going on, he would also be building a second home in the same area from the ground up and then would be eligible for the tax credits on those homes.
Mohrfeld is also working with officials in Fort Madison to do a similar project with the city.