Eminent domain map

This photograph shows the land needed for easements and acquisition for the Riverside Recreation Trail Project.

SIOUX CITY | The Sioux City Council on Monday voted to begin the eminent domain process to acquire a portion of land for a future trail project. 

The city is continuing in the meantime to work with the property owner to come to an agreement for purchase of easements and acquisition of property at 817 Bruner Ave. for future trail construction near the Big Sioux River. 

According to city documents, the city requires three temporary construction easements totaling 5,576 square feet, a permanent easement of 9,991 square feet and an 8,976-square-foot portion to be acquired in fee title. The city has offered the property owner, Brad Lepper, $16,420 for the land. 

Lepper told the council Monday that he was not completely in agreement as to the value the city had placed on the land. He said he had two buildable lots that would not be able to be developed under the current plan. But he was willing to work with the city and even donate another portion of land to the east, he said.

"We sure don't want to stand in the way of the project's completion," Lepper said. 

He said after the meeting that he and the city are close and he hopes they can come to agreement. City staff expressed a similar desire to settle an agreement. 

The council had originally planned to take a similar vote regarding another parcel of land at 1725 1/2 Nash St., but the property owner agreed to the sale after Monday's agenda was posted. 

Community development operations manager Jeff Hanson said the last time the city used eminent domain was in relation to the Jackson Street reconstruction project, when the city in July 2016 acquired a portion of the Family Dollar's property for a traffic signal. 

USS Sioux City

In other action Monday, the City Council approved a $50,000 contribution to the USS Sioux City Commissioning Committee. The committee is tasked with planning and raising money for the ship's commissioning, which will take place next summer in Annapolis, Maryland. 

The committee hopes to raise $800,000 to $1 million.

Development agreement

The council also approved a development agreement with logistics company Monterey Management LLC for land purchased in the city's Bridgeport West Industrial Park. 

The company will receive 9.52 acres for $325,000 to develop a 3,200-square-foot logistics facility, a 19,000-square-foot bio-security facility, a 6,400 maintenance facility and an 8,000-square-foot convenience store -- a total investment of $11.7 million.

The company would offer fuel, wash bays and other services to trucks entering and exiting the Seaboard Triumph Foods pork plant, according to city documents.

Sewer rate hike

The council also approved the final reading of a 3 percent sewer rate increase. The rate increase will go into effect July 1 of this year. 

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City hall reporter

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