Shiloh Aerial

As the potential annexation of the Shiloh church property south of Kalona progresses, two companies will be conducting assessments at the property next week.

Kalona City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh told the City Council Monday that Carl A. Nelson and Associates will visit the site on May 28 and RDG Planning and Design will be on site on May 30.

Schlabaugh said that Carl A. Nelson staff will look at code compliance with changing uses of the existing facilities.

RDG will review public input, maps, rankings and suggestions for uses of the property.

“They’ll put it in the form of layouts,” Schlabaugh said. “Until we get the layouts of where streets and houses will be, it’s hard.”

Council member Joe Schmidt asked if RDG will present more than one possible scenario.

“Will they give additional ideas of what it could be?” he asked.

“They’re going to give us multiple versions,” Schlabaugh said. “We want to make sure it’s doable and we find a balance.”

Schlabaugh said that city staff is also going through financials to determine what the ongoing maintenance costs and upkeep for the facilities would be.

Council Member Craig Spitzer said that the only questions he has heard from the public is how the potential annexation would affect their property taxes.

“We are working with other entities to help defray the costs (of maintenance and upkeep),” Schlabaugh said.

He also gave an update on talks with other entities about use of the property.

“We continue to engage our partners,” Schlabaugh said. “We’ve toured a lot of people through the building.”

Some of those partners include Washington County Conservation, Washington County Public Health, Washington County Supervisors, Washington County Emergency Management and the Mid-Prairie School District.

“We have not engaged any private entities that don’t have a public focus,” Schlabaugh said. 

He added that the public committee meetings will continue in the first week of June.

“We need to give RDG and Carl A. Nelson some time,” he said. “Community engagement has been impressive." 

James Jennings, News Editor at The News, can be reached at news@kalonanews.com

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