Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
The developer of a proposed shopping plaza in Gardner has revised the cost estimates of the project upward.
The city council has rescheduled a public hearing on the creation of the community improvement district and the imposition of a CID sales tax levy to pay for infrastructure improvements within the district.
In a petition to the city, Moonlight Plaza LLC amended the approximate cost of the project expected to be reimbursed to the developer through the proposed 1 percent CID sales tax from $4.5 million to $12.5 million.
The proposed community improvement district includes the construction of a new 60,000 Sq. ft. Price Chopper grocery store, the redevelopment of the existing grocery store into new commercial uses, façade improvements to the Moonlight Plaza Center and construction of two pad sites.
During its Nov. 5 meeting, the city had set a Dec. 17 public hearing for the project. The city will now hold the public hearing on Jan. 22, 2019.
Mathew Wolff, finance director, told the council that setting the public meeting does not obligate the city to approve the CID, levy the requested CID sales tax or authorize the issuance of the CID bonds.
The estimated total cost of the project is $29 million.

In other business:
– The city approved an $80,000 agreement between Gardner and the Southwest Johnson County economic Development Corporation, a $45,000 increase from the original 2018 budget.
According to Wolff, the funding for the EDC will come from transient guest tax revenues.
-The city confirmed the appointment of Wolff as finance director. Wolff has been serving as interim finance director in place of Laura Gourley who was appointed interim city administrator after the resignation of Cheryl-Harrison Lee .