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Adel and county agree on 28E

ADEL – The Adel City Council passed the proposed 28E agreement by a 3-2 vote Monday at a special meeting. Approximately 14 hours later, the Dallas County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the agreement.

The agreement between the City of Adel and Dallas County was created in order for the two entities to work together in the site selection, acquisition and preparation of the land for Dallas County to construct an administrative building and public safety facility. “I can tell my associates on this board that I believe that the City of Adel, the mayor, their legal counsel, our legal counsel and myself all together worked in good faith to come to this agreement,” said Dallas County Supervisors Chairman Kim Chapman at Tuesday’s meeting. “I encourage your support in approving this agreement today.”

Due to population growth and increased demand for services, the county has been attempting to solve space issues. A $16.85 million bond referendum to build an administrative building and jail facility east of Adel on Highway 6 near Ortonville failed in August of last year but another bond referendum could be on the ballot in November.

“I know the county is thinking about a bond issue this general election, 2014. If it fails, we’re not out anything – we can exit. This agreement is our offer to the county to consider building in the downtown area, not necessarily the square, but in the downtown area,” said Adel Mayor Jim Peters at the special meeting Monday. “If we don’t approve this tonight, it’s basically telling the county to build out there (Ortonville).”

Residents opposed to last year’s bond referendum feared that moving county offices outside of the Adel downtown area would negatively affect businesses near the square.

“The 28E agreement is pretty straightforward. Any time along the line, the mayor can say no and 60 days later the agreement goes away,” said Adel City Attorney John Reich. “It’s a very good vehicle if you want that building and employees in town eating and doing business in town. Plus, it could be a great improvement to the town.”

“I’m thrilled with the opportunity to at least discuss cooperation and the real issues that we’re facing to have legitimate services placed in the right locations,” said Dallas County Supervisor Mark Hanson.

The 28E agreement specifies that a separate entity called Adel-Dallas County Public Corporation will be created, consisting of the mayor of Adel (Jim Peters) and the chairman of the county supervisors (Kim Chapman).

If a suitable site is acquired, besides sharing legal, clerical and administrative responsibility with the county, Adel will contribute $500,000 to be payable no later than June 1, 2016. If Dallas County is not successful in financing the construction of the building or the county does not proceed with the project, Adel’s contributed funds shall be returned to the city.

“I want to say that this project is not my top priority for Adel,” said city council member Shirley McAdon. “I have other priorities in our economic development and urban development plans. I think it’s too expensive and too risky. I think there are too many unknowns, including the site, the cost and the plans. I want to voice my opposition to the plan.” The duration of the agreement will be effective until December 1, 2018, however, either member of the Adel-Dallas County Public Corporation may terminate the agreement by providing written 60-day notice.

The site referred to in the 28E agreement has not yet been selected. The mayor and chairman have yet to discuss a possible site for the proposed administration building and public safety building. If a site is selected, a bond referendum must be passed at the polls in November in order for the county to proceed with the project.

“Adopting this agreement is only the first step of many steps. We’re a long way from distributing $500,000. If we don’t approve this, we’re basically telling the community that all their effort during the last election was for nothing,” added Peters.

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