JAMESTOWN — The Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. Board of Directors unanimously approved on Monday, June 13, a housing program for the development of residential lots within Jamestown city limits.
If the program is approved by the Jamestown City Council in July, the JSDC would provide up to 20% of the required 25% cost share for the city to bond for infrastructure for the development of the residential lots. The program would provide loans to help developers develop infrastructure for residential lots within Jamestown city limits.
“The way it (city of Jamestown ordinance) currently sits is that the city will special assess or bond for 75% of that infrastructure,” said Corry Shevlin, CEO of JSDC. “The developer is responsible for 25% of that to be paid.”
The funding level of the program included a request for $500,000 from the city of Jamestown’s economic development fund. If two developers developed 20 to 25 lots each, $500,000 is the estimated amount needed to cover JSDC’s 20% cost share. Shevlin said the remaining 5% cost share would be provided by the developer.
“All of this would of course be contingent upon the city’s availability to bond for the other 75%,” Shevlin said. “If that’s not happening on the other end, we are not going to provide the upfront cost either.”
The loan from JSDC for developers would be noninterest-bearing and no principal or interest payments would need to be made for up to five years.
“That’s what we are calling the deferment period for us,” Shevlin said. “After it would be done, it would be repaid over two years at 2%.”
For example, if a developer wants to develop 20 lots in the city and the infrastructure requirements for the project is $1 million, the current city ordinance provides for the city to bond 75% of the cost and developer to provide 25%. The JSDC would loan the developer $200,000. During a lot sale, JSDC will recoup 100% of the loan.
“In this scenario, the JSDC would recoup $12,500 per lot upon the sale,” Shevlin wrote in a memo to the JSDC Existing Business Committee. “That would be directly applied to the principal amount. Should the lots all sell within the 5 year period, Developer X would have no direct payments to the JSDC.”
With the housing program, Mayor Dwaine Heinrich said the City Council’s biggest discussion will include figuring out how to do the bonds or loans so the loans can be deferred for two years.
“What is being proposed here is the JSDC is going to defer the payments on this loan for five years,” he said. “It will not mean that the payments for the rest of the bond are going to be deferred for five years. That is intended but that would be deferred to two years.”
Shevlin said the JSDC would take a position on the property and calculate a per-lot cost that will be recouped when the lot is sold. The JSDC would recoup 100% of the loan at 80% of lot sales.
The program requires a minimum of 10 lots to be developed.
“We don’t have a specific piece of land that we are gearing for,” Shevlin said. “Obviously there are pieces of land within the city limits that are more conducive to this kind of development than others. There are no restrictions on where that would be as long as within city limits.”
He said housing in Jamestown has been an issue and will continue to be.
“If some of our larger employers are fortunate enough to find the individuals to move into town, then the next problem is finding appropriate housing for them … ,” he said.
In 2021, the JSDC Board approved a request for $50,000 to contract preliminary engineering for cost estimates to proposed housing development sites. The cost of the preliminary engineering report completed by Interstate Engineering was $30,000.
Interstate Engineering prepared the preliminary engineering report that includes existing conditions for five locations — Beverly Hills Sixth Addition, Horizon Estates First Addition and Schumacher Acres, Loose Bypass Subdivision, Looysen Scenic View Estates and the Meadows Addition — for potential development that would require additional city water and sanitary sewer infrastructure. The report analyzed the city’s existing infrastructure that would connect to the proposed development locations and reviewed sanitary sewer and water mains.
In other business, Connie Ova, JSDC special projects manager, said the Bison World Fund needs matching funds to apply for a $5 million grant through the state Destination Development Grant Program. She also said the Bison World Fund will hopefully know the final application requirements by July 3.
The JSDC Board also unanimously approved an application from SMP Health – Ave Maria for the Internship Reimbursement Program. The JSDC will provide up to $3,500 through the program.
Shevlin said the application was received in April before the deadline and went to a catch-all email address instead of being emailed to a JSDC employee.