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CIC says it’s time to break ties with Mages Development Group

By Carol McIntire

Members of the Carroll County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) voted last week to sever ties with the company that was contracted to develop the Commerce Park.

After meeting in executive session for just shy of an hour to discuss contract negotiations, CIC members voted to “move forward with severing the contract with Mages Development Corporation.” The motion included the stipulation that the CIC would pay Mages a commission on a 14-acre parcel of property, if the sale of the land is completed within 60 days.

“They brought the client to the table, so we should pay them if the sale is consummated within the allotted time frame,” said Gary Hall, a CIC member who made the motion.

 Commissioner Jeff Ohler was the only CIC member who voted against the measure. Ohler said he did not agree with the terms included in agreement to sever the contract.

The CIC met on two previous occasions within the last two months to discuss the possibility of breaking the contract because they did not feel Mages, a Texas-based company, had not met their obligations in the contract. Only one company has located in the park, McJunkin Redman Corporation, and the deal to purchase that land was made prior to Mages becoming involved.

 Two other companies, Midwest Energy (Terra-Gen) and Marcus Durley, have options on land in the park. Terra-Gen has a three-year option on 50 acres and Marcus Durley has an option on approximately 14 acres.

Terra-Gen was referred to Mages by Carroll County Economic Development Director Glenn Enslen. Enslen said he has shown land in the Commerce Park to two companies recently. “That land may be sold quickly,” he noted.

The CIC signed a five-year agreement with Mages in March 2012 to develop about 278 acres of land in the Commerce Park, located on the north side of Carrollton on State Route 9. The land was then transferred to the CIC for sale and development.

In a matter closely related to the development of the Commerce Park, CIC members agreed to send a letter to Howard Snyder informing him the group does not intend to renew a lease signed last year that allowed Snyder to farm approximately 143.5 tillable acres in the park.

Linda Yeager and Ray Rummell from the Carroll Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) reviewed the lease and discussed it during last week’s meeting. Yeager said it was her opinion that Snyder did not meet the terms of the lease, thus the CIC could break it. The lease stipulates that if either party wished to break the lease, they must give 90 days notice prior to the renewal date, which is June 14, 2013.

CIC members instructed Aaron Dodds to write a letter to Snyder that day informing him of their intent.

Dodds noted that with the options on two parcels and the McJunkin land taken out, there are only about 91 acres are left that could be leased for agricultural purposes. “ If you are trying to sell land, do you really want cornfield there when you show it to someone?” he asked.

Dodds suggested the CIC hire a farmer to plant hay in the field which could be baled. It would allow for a cleaner, neater appearance, he noted.

Since a motion was made at the last CIC meeting to lease the land, members voted not to lease the land and to work with SWCD officials to complete soil tests, determine what variety of hay is most suitable and have the field seeded.

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