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Proposed Iron Ore Smelter

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Peggy Tipton

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Missouri
I live in a small community of around 4,500 along the Mississippi River. There is a vacant tract of property of 250 acres that sits between the town and the river that the city is planning on purchasing. A developer has proposed to lease this site for 100 years and build an iron ore smelter, rail loop and barge port on the river. The developer is saying it is a $1 billion dollar project. The most desirable homes in the city run parrallel to the proposed development. The city is telling the citizens their property values will not be affected by the development even though some of the homes will be as close as 80 feet from the property line of the development and directly parrallel to the rail loop.

I belong to a group of citizens that are fighting the proposed development due to the prospects of pollution, noise, etc. and the expected decrease in property values due to the proposed project. I would like input from anyone on this site in a manner presentable to the city government that the proposed development is going to cause property values to decline due to external influences from the project.

As an appraiser in an already declining market it is difficult to put enough information together to try to prove the possible negative affects on property values on a "proposed" project.

Your help in this matter will be greatly appreciated.
 

Kevin A. Spellman

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Massachusetts
Is the developer asking for tax relief with this proposed development? Does this development need state approval or special permits? Will this become an economic engine for the community? Will there be mitigation for the community such as new roadways, town buildings or town equipment being provided by the developer.

Most communities create boards, panel or a commission with designated residents as representatives when there is significant change in use for vacant land or re-development. If this is your community and your service area I would attend the public meetings and asked to be a member of either a public or private organization in respect to this development.
 

Peggy Tipton

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Missouri
There is no tax relief that I have found in my research. The proposal and plans are being kept secret due to a Confidentiality Agreement the Mayor and city council members signed before any discussions were started.

They will not disclose any information pertaining to the project so the citizens are being left in the dark.

The project will require permits from EPA and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

As far as an economic engine for the city, probably the only increase will be for the local taverns and fast food restaurants. The city is physically landlocked so there is no room for increased housing or new businesses. The population numbers will basically stay the same in numbers and the city is mostly middle class blue collar workers.

The developer has not agreed to any mitigation to the city for roadways, etc. It actually states in the lease that the city will give the developer any additional property it needs through emenint domain in order to complete his project. All costs for infrastructure improvements will be born by the city.

There are no panels or commissions to review the project due to the Confidentiality Agreement. At the one townhall meeting the Mayor had for the citizens his answer to all of the questions was "we can't answer that due to the confidentiality agreement" and "I don't know". So the exact nature of the project is unknown by the residents.

This is exactly why as an appraiser it is difficult for me to answer question from the citizens as to how thier property values will be affected and also why I am posting the questions here on this website.
 

Kevin A. Spellman

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Massachusetts
I would ask your Attorney General if the mayor has the rights to sign a confidentiality agreement for public land. There has to be public review if it is public land.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
This will create a boom town environment, that will overwhelm the existing character of your community. Rents and property values will increase in the short term, followed by a bust that will leave your town looking more like Gary Indiana than what it is now.

In the boom phase, construction workers, bars, strip clubs, and all manner of roughnecks and rough behavior invade and take over the community; property values go up, but the quality of life goes down.

For those who want to sell out, it might be a boon -- but they should sell out on the upswing of the boom cycle, because the bust might leave them in worse shape than they are now.

Were it my community, I'd fight it tooth and nail -- starting with a recall election petition for the mayor and his cronies on the city council, and a lawsuit to block implementation of the confidential agreement.

Big Timber Montana went through something like this, with a platinum mine -- the townsfolk were told how great it would be for the local economy. It was all lies (except for the boom prosperity) and the character of the community was adversely affected.

Isn't an iron ore smelter something like a blast furnace? Does your town really want to become a mini Gary Indiana?
 

Don Jones

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Missouri
This situation is in Crystal City, Missouri. Legal action has already begun by a group of citizens to stop this action.
 

hastalavista

Elite Member
Joined
May 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Peggy-

A word of caution.

We had a forumite (I haven't seen her post recently) who had a similar situation where she was an appraiser and became active in opposing some type of development in her neighborhood.
Long story short, somehow she was in disagreement with one of the appraisals completed for the developer and stated so in protest. Because she was an appraiser, and because she alluded to that fact in her disagreement (which was submitted to the city or planning department), it ended up at the state for a regulatory review.

Someone else may remember the specifics, but I think she was issued some kind of censure or warning?

So, good luck in your protest as a community stakeholder but be wary of someone mistaking your community-stakeholder hat as an appraiser hat.
 

mark osburn

Freshman Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Jersey
he who smelt it ....dealt it

6th grade humor lives on
 

murray stroupe

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Professional Status
General Public
State
Tennessee
Re;Since when does a busy/noisy railroad not affect home values?

This will create a boom town environment, that will overwhelm the existing character of your community. Rents and property values will increase in the short term, followed by a bust that will leave your town looking more like Gary Indiana than what it is now.

In the boom phase, construction workers, and all manner of roughnecks and rough behavior invade and take over the community; property values go up, but the quality of life goes down.

For those who want to sell out, it might be a boom -- but they should sell out on the upswing of the boom cycle, because the bust might leave them in worse shape than they are now.

Were it my community, I'd fight it tooth and nail -- starting with a recall election petition for the mayor and his cronies on the city council, and a lawsuit to block implementation of the confidential agreement.

Big Timber Montana went through something like this, with a platinum mine -- the townsfolk were told how great it would be for the local economy. It was all lies (except for the boom prosperity) and the character of the community was adversely affected.

Isn't an iron ore smelter something like a blast furnace? Does your town really want to become a mini Gary Indiana?
=====================
I agrre with much of that,Charles.
May well be good for the town & job creation, business;
but i do not , repeat do not ,want to live that close to a whistle blowing train/whistle blowing barge terminal.

So even if the political powers that be do the deal, maybe no one could stop them, personaly i would want a good[commercial] buy out$ from the city.Would exspect commercial operators to pay thier way;not ''railroad/steal'' the noisy property or buffer zone.

Got any honest lawyers to work on contingincy, in/or out of town,Miss Tipton???.LOL

Bottom line keep it polite,professional, preferably press involved;
many modern steel mills/related are much more efficient than Gary Indiana, so would not predict a bust automaticaly ,even if it does happen that way.
 
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