Fortigen to seek TIF funding

The majority of the regularly-scheduled February 15 Geneva City Council meeting was spent setting up a Community Development Agency (CDA) and then operating as a CDA to allow for TIF funding to be used by Fortigen (Tetrad, Inc. of Omaha) to build an anhydrous fertilizer plant in extreme northeast Geneva.

Geneva City Attorney Joe Bixby suggested the city council to appoint themselves as the CDA for the process.  A pair of Lincoln attorneys also assisted the city council through the process of allowing Fortigen to use funding made available by the Nebraska Community Development Act.  Geneva Ordinance No. 1075 created the CDA.
The TIF funding application indicates that Fortigen plans to develop and install an integrated nitrogen products facility in a blighted area of Geneva.  The facility will have the capacity of producing 100 “short tons” of ammonia daily.  The project will entail an estimated investment of approximately $72 million at the project site.  The Fortigen Geneva Redevelopment Project plan indicates the initial valuation for the plant site is $1.176 million with an estimated completed valuation of being $44.769 million.
“This is an economic tool every community needs to have to be able to attract this type of business,” Geneva City Administrator Kyle Svec said.
Other topics covered at last Monday’s city council meeting included:
• The city council approved using TopKote, Inc., of Yankton, S.D., for armor coating and rout-n-seal service again this year.  The city council suggested using aggregate crushed rock for the armor coating.
• The city’s Fire Committee met with the Geneva Rural Fire Board and discussed some possible sites for a new fire barn.
• The city’s Pool Committee met with JEO Consulting Group staff about plans for the new Geneva Family Aquatic Center. Svec mentioned the city plans to operate a ‘decent’ swimming pool this season at the current facility—possible closing in mid-July to allow for demolition to begin at the site.  Then, hopefully, Svec said, a dry late summer will allow for site preparation to begin.
“I would say plans for the new pool are progressing nicely,” Svec said.  “I feel everything is going along on schedule.”
• The city council voted to allow  Ballyhoo, Inc., to continue to make interest-only payments for an additional six months on its Geneva City Sales Tax loan.  Craig Hughes with Ballyhoo said company projections indicate sales are expected to pick up.  The company’s workforce in Geneva has decreased by more than half—from a peak of 42-45 employees to 20 employees.  

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