Deery Brothers want to bring another car dealership to town and they are asking for a tax abatement to build in a low lying area off U.S. Highway 30.
The dealership's representatives have offered to pay for land improvements that would reduce flooding and a donation of land to the city in exchange for a tax abatement worth the value of the offer, but Ames City Manager Steve Schainker seems to disagree on what the land and work is worth.
The Ames City Council expects to discuss the new deal at its meeting tonight.
A former request for a tax abatement for Deery Brothers Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge dealership on Southeast 16th Street and Dayton Avenue failed on a 3-3 vote April 10.
In the former proposal, Deery Brothers planned to develop three lots, using one for a car dealership, and asked the city for a tax abatement that they would use to develop the low lying area.
This time they are offering to widen the channel that goes across the property that they say will mitigate flooding in the area and would give the city 10 acres of land.
The total tax abatement would be about $824,000 and $273,000 of that would be city taxes, based on estimates of the developed property's value.
The Deery Brothers estimated the land donation and channel work to be worth about $884,000 total.
However Schainker doesn't agree on the value of the land and improvements according to the staff report he has prepared for Tuesday's council meeting, which starts at 7 p.m.
Deery Brothers estimated the full value of the land plus wetland credits to be worth $644,000.
But Schainker said the land, 10.8 acres in the flood way is probably not worth the $56,000 per acre that Deery Brothers claim it is.
An engineer for the Deery Brothers said that the channel work is worth $240,000 and staff said the estimate is reasonable, but Schainker wrote that widening the channel would allow water to move faster through the city and could destabilize banks along the channel and negatively impact plant and aquatic life in the area.
In a letter to council, Fred Rose, a Deery Brothers representative, wrote that widening the channel could increase water flow possibly preventing the water backup that occurred in 2010.
Rose also wrote that there is a possibility that some work on the U.S. Highway 30 bridge might be necessary that would require additional land. That is why the dealership would offer the lower 10.8 acres to the city after site work is completed but Schainker said state engineers aren't certain that they would ever need that land to widen the bridge.
Rose told The Tribune that they looked at other locations to build a dealership in town, but that the S.E. 16th Street site had the most potential.