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NFAA Easton Yankton
Archery Complex

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Yankton, SD 57078


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City OK Development Agreement

The Yankton City Commission hopes its decision Monday to agree to an unorthodox economic development proposal will pay large dividends in the future.

Reflecting the complexity of the arrangement, commissioners spent more than an hour wrapping their heads around it. Not making matters any easier was the fact that the landowner wants to complete the process before the end of the year in order to realize some tax benefits.

Essentially, by approving the subdivision of approximately 50 acres on the east side of Yankton into three lots and deferring the usual infrastructure improvements required for such a procedure, commissioners believe some local businessmen will be able to carry out a vision that will benefit the city.

Mike Dellinger, the executive director of the Yankton Office of Economic Development, came before the commission with John Hagemann, the current owner of the property, and Bruce Cull, the president of the National Field Archery Association (NFAA).

Hagemann will sell 20 acres of the property south of Highway 50 along Bill Baggs Road to the NFAA, which hopes to develop a campground franchise there. In addition, he will donate approximately eight acres of property to the NFAA for use as archery tournament grounds. Hagemann will keep the 20 acres closest to Highway 50 for himself.

When looking to arrange the deal with the NFAA, Hagemann said he was surprised to learn the infrastructure improvements required by the city could amount to more than $300,000. That's when he and Cull sought the assistance of the city to make the project more feasible.

They will still eventually pay for the infrastructure under the agreement but will get funding from Yankton and its economic development arm, Yankton Area Progressive Growth, for the engineering needed to install sanitary sewer and water for fire suppression. Even though Hagemann and the NFAA have agreed to have the property annexed, the city cannot supply drinking water because a recent lawsuit settlement with the B-Y Water District acknowledges that the rural water provider has that right anywhere outside the current city limits.

“I think it is really important that we try to proceed with this,” Hagemann said. “I look at it as a total economic endeavor, because before we were just talking about some raw land where we were going to shoot a few arrows.”

“I think that you need to think outside the box a little bit here,” Cull added. “We've got an opportunity to build something that is going to bring more people and more money into this community.”

KOA was mentioned as the campground franchise being proposed, and Cull said the property would have between 100-120 sites. Such a development will be ideal for when the NFAA holds tournaments in Yankton, he said.

Additionally, the city is working to persuade TransCanada to locate a field site in Yankton while it is constructing the Keystone Pipeline next year. The city is competing with another community for the development, which would lead to 200-300 construction workers living in the area for about a year, according to Dellinger. In particular, the company is looking for a site where about 80 RVs could be parked. Dellinger said the campground proposed by the NFAA would be ideal for that and would lead to those workers spending millions of dollars in and around Yankton. TransCanada may lease the campground for the first year, and it would become a KOA site in 2010, Cull speculated.

“While (Community Development Director Dave Mingo) refers to this as a leap of faith, I look at it with some bit of comfort knowing we have two long-standing business owners in our community who are looking toward something,” Commissioner Nancy Wenande said. “While it is not something we typically do, I think as a board we have tried to do some progressive things. Some have failed. Some have continued to go forward in this community. I look at this as an opportunity for us to try something different.”

“In my opinion, it's a good project,” added Mayor Dan Specht. “It brings together that archery hub we're looking for. It also provides space for tournament users to camp or reside.”

Commissioner Charlie Gross was charged with the task of formulating the complicated motion to accept the proposal.

According to the agreement:

• the developer is requesting that the city accept the final plat without the prerequisite completion of certain infrastructure that is normally included in the platting process;

• the developer agrees to voluntary annexation of the real estate involved, which would be approximately 52 acres;

• Yankton Area Progressive Growth will escrow $30,000 that will go toward engineering the infrastructure required to serve the NFAA lots. Additionally, the city will pay up to $95,000 out of its bed, board and booze tax fund for the same purpose;

• upon the development of either of the NFAA lots, the city shall provide sewer and water for fire suppression to those lots; and

• improvements to Bill Baggs Road will be deferred until development requires otherwise.

The motion was approved in an 8-0 vote. Commissioner Bill Ellingson was absent from the meeting.

In other business Monday, the commission:

• gave staff permission to move forward with planning to build a new parks and recreation maintenance building on the current Fox Run Golf Course maintenance building property along 25th Street;

• awarded the bid for the north fire station to James Steel Erection of Yankton. The company submitted the low bid of $1.638 million for the project, about $600,000 less than the architect's estimate. According to City Manager Doug Russell, it is fortunate that the project came in as low as it did. Otherwise, the city would have had to cut some elements or find additional money to cover expenditures;

• approved a 20-year land lease agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration. It renews a previous 20-year agreement for the FAA to use land at the Chan Gurney Municipal Airport for guidance/tracking system equipment;

• gave final acceptance to the $443,000 water main project along Peninah and 31st streets;

• approved an agreement with the South Dakota Department of Transportation for upgrading the railroad crossings on Cedar Street near Eighth Street. The city is responsible for 10 percent of the costs associated with what is expected to be a $44,000 project. The upgrades are scheduled to occur during the 2009 construction season; and

• received reports from Dellinger about the city's economic development efforts. Lisa Scheve, director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, also reviewed her organization's accomplishments in 2008.