Work on the new 60,000 sq ft store Price Chopper continues, and the Gardner council recently authorized the sale of about $9 million in bonds. As originally planned, the store will anchor the Main Street Market Place shopping plaza and will be partly funded through a $19,390,000 in industrial revenue bonds. The second phase of the project includes the redevelopment of the current store into restaurant and retail space, but will be completed at a later date. Super Market Developers, Inc, a subsidiary of Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), is behind the project. The city previously also passed an ordinance authorizing the creation of a Community Improvement District (CID) and authorized the imposition of a 1 percent CID sales tax to be collected within the district. Wolf said the developer applied for the CID designation. The CID will have a term of 22 years and is expected to raise up to $12,500,000. The tax will fund the construction of the new Price Chopper store, the redevelopment of the existing store, two pad sites and existing retail stores.The council previously passed an ordinance approving the redevelopment plan for the project which will enable the developer to use Tax Incremental Financing (TIF). The city had earlier designated the site a TIF district. According to a feasibility study, the developer has identified more than $6.5 million in TIF eligible costs. Staff photo by Brandon Humble

Lynne Hermansen
Special To The Gardner News
The Gardner City Council on May 4 approved general obligation bonds for the new water treatment facility and industrial revenue bonds for the new Price Chopper.
Council approved $29,150,000 in General Bonds for the Water Treatment Plan for a 20 year term. They also passed a resolution adoption for the forms and details of the bonds.
Randy Gregoryck, council member, read two sentences from the $27,450,000 principal general bond series bond packet and asked if it was a typo that it read Gardner’s debt is 441 percent of the revenue.
Bruce Kimmel, financial advisor, said the sentence was accurate. “It is what it is: that’s not a typo,” he said. It refers to total debt divided by total revenue. Kimmel attended the meeting by phone.
“We are a growing community,” Steve Shute, mayor said.
Debt only makes up 10 percent of scoring, Kimmel said.
Kimmel said that Baker Group Oklahoma presented the best bid. He said Baker Group chose them due to their strong economy and budget flexibility.
Kimmel said Baker Group wasn’t alarmed by their debt obligations because most of the debt is from electric.
• Council passed the Industrial Revenue Bonds for the Main Street Price Chopper Project.
Price Chopper construction is nearly complete, however, redevelopment of the old store will be delayed.
The $9.5 million for the new store was approved by the council. The second part bond issue will be postponed until redevelopment begins.

In other business:
• Council passed the amended and reinstated Benefits Plan for the City.
Alan Abramovitz, HR Manager, said that most people elected the high deductible plan in last week’s open enrollment.
“It was a very successful process,” he said.
Abramovitz said they obtained the company Flex Made Easy for the FSA Services Provider. He said they are not tied to a certain health provider but are only administrative services.