Council still concerned regarding high-density apartment plan
by Dawn Feddrsen-Poindexter
The Rogers City Council approved the sale of $3,465,000 in bonds to fund renovations to the new police building and planned equipment purchases.
A total of $2.5 million of the bond proceeds will be used to fund the renovations to the building on Industrial Boulevard the city purchased last year with the intention of renovating it to become the new police station. The remaining $965,000 will be used to replace old equipment, notably a fire truck, three police squad cars, and some sidewalk and parks maintenance equipment.
The council was pleased to hear that the city’s credit rating has again increased, resulting in a lower interest rate of 2.68%. The lower rate is expected to produce savings of $27,439 over the life of the bonds.
City administrator Steve Stahmer said, “Since 2008, the city of Rogers has successfully seen its bond rating improve three times for a total of four steps of improvement. The current bond rating assigned by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services in February 2014 is an AA+ rating! One step below the highest possible rating of AAA.”
The council was told that a perfect rating of AAA is nearly impossible for a growing city to achieve so, in Rogers, AA+ is the highest achievable level at this time.
In other matters, the council again tabled a decision on the rezoning for a proposed apartment development at County Road 81 and Marion Court.
The council had originally tabled a plan for 192 town home style units in 14 buildings because of concerns over the high density of the project and the issues that could arise, including traffic and crime. The developer submitted a revised plan for 216 apartment-style units in nine buildings.
Council member Don Hall voiced his and his fellow council members’ sentiments when he said, “My standpoint is we raised some concerns two weeks ago so I’m a little bit surprised that we got another drawing with higher numbers. We asked a lot of questions that didn’t get answered.”
Council member Rick Ihli also expressed his concerns when he said, “In my world, I think 200 plus is too much … It spooked me to see all those buildings. That’s a lot of density.”
The council advised the developer, Vincent Real Estate Advisors, LLC, that it wanted to see a project with lower density, higher quality materials, and one that is nicely laid out on the land.
In other action, the council
LEARNED that the grant funding the city had applied for a year ago to add solar panels to City Hall and Public Works was approved. The applications for the Rogers Activity Center, fire station, and Rogers Wine and Spirits did not receive funding. Public works supt. John Seiffert was advised to re-apply.