Greenhouse development uncertain

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May 15, 2012
— City officials planned to host a public presentation tonight to showcase a proposed greenhouse development, but that presentation is on hold.

City Administrator Jerry Schuetz said CG Greenhouses called Monday evening and asked to postpone the presentation until the company resolves "some internal issues."

The city has had "conceptual project meetings" with the company for a greenhouse development on land directly east of the United Ethanol plant, Schuetz said.

Schuetz acknowledged the proposal would include jobs but declined to go into details, saying he wanted to wait for the presentation and didn't want to "burn" the project with a premature announcement.

City officials are still evaluating the feasibility of the development with the company, Schuetz said.

"We want to get out the message at a time and place and on terms they're comfortable with," Schuetz said of the developers. "We want to help in any way we can to facilitate the project."

Schuetz said the project would go forward with transparency to the public. Schuetz said he did not know when the company would be ready to make its public presentation.

Mayor Tom Chesmore said the city council two weeks ago approved a lease of about 60 acres adjacent to the city's industrial park, along Highway 59 east of the ethanol plant.

Chesmore said the city put together a lease deal with the landowners, with an option to buy the parcel later.

The parcel would be incorporated within a tax increment finance district, Chesmore indicated, which means the city could offer the developer incentives to build there.

Gazette reporter Neil Johnson contributed to this story.

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