City Commissioners approve extension on existing agreement during action session Wednesday Featured

Commissioners review the agreement extension between the city of Emporia and REG. Commissioners review the agreement extension between the city of Emporia and REG. Tagan Trahoon/KVOE News

A long-standing development project will be continuing after approval by Emporia City Commissioners.

The Commission unanimously approved an extension for the existing agreement between the City of Emporia and Renewable Energy Group. Representatives of REG requested the extension of the existing incentive and compliance agreement last week for construction of a biodiesel plant in Industrial Park III.

Originally the project was agreed to in 2007, and after being partially completed the plant’s construction was mothballed for the past ten years. With the original agreement set to expire on New Year’s Eve the extension will see the agreement continue for five more years through 2023.

Commissioner Rob Gilligan says REG’s commitment to meeting their obligations stated in the original agreement had a major effect on Commissioner’s granting the extension.

Per the agreement, If the project does not progress by 2023 the plant will be brought down to ground level and the land will revert back to the city of Emporia. Gilligan says while the Commission has stated this will be the final extension of the agreement if there is significant progress made on the plant by 2023 and more time is required there is a chance a future extension may be granted.

In other business, Commissioners approved a resolution to adopt the proposed continuance of the neighborhood revitalization program. The program provides property owners within a certain designated area an opportunity to receive a rebate for 10 years on an additional property taxes assessed as a result of property improvements or new construction.

Gilligan explains the program in more detail.

Commissioner's approved the continuance unanimously.

Also on the agenda Commissioners approved a 2019 maintenance contract with the Emporia Public Library, as well as a resolution for the official boundary list and an ordinance to update cell tower policy. Two conditional use permits were also approved, one for the Preston Plaza and Lofts building at 528 Merchant and the S.O.S. safe house.

The City Commission’s next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 10 am inside city conference room 1AB at White Auditorium.

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