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EMC Insurance is asking Des Moines to waive property taxes on the downtown site where the company wants to build a park instead of expanding its headquarters, city officials confirmed to Axios.
Why it matters: It's a potential loss in tax base on a spot considered to be a prime location for downtown redevelopment.
Driving the news: EMC announced on Friday that it's putting its $24 million expansion on an indefinite hold, and that the company instead wants to turn the property into a neighborhood park.
Flashback: The property, 701 Walnut St., is the site of the former Younkers department store that was destroyed by a fire in 2014.
Details: The site, which is less than 0.4 acres, is assessed for $1.2 million by the Polk County Assessor.
Of note: The cost and full scope of plans for the park are unknown at this time, but EMC envisions sports courts, seating, raised flower beds and public art.
What they're saying: Mayor Frank Cownie commended EMC for the plan in a statement Friday, saying the park "will fill a much-needed void in the community."
What's next: City staff will negotiate the terms of the park agreement and present them to the City Council for approval this fall.
Scott Sanders, city manager
Jeff Lester, city attorney
Kay Cmelik, city clerk
The Des Moines City Council is considering new rules that benefit drivers who are towed, but some are concerned they may burden businesses.
Driving the news: Council member Josh Mandelbaum last week suggested two new ordinances that he said offer protections for drivers who are privately towed.
Des Moines is embracing electric cars as its first choice to replace old vehicles as they're retired from the city's fleet, according to its finance director.
Why it matters: Des Moines has about three dozen trash trucks that accounted for almost half of the city's total diesel use (437K gallons) last year.