Manchester council OKs site plan for large retail development

MANCHESTER, Iowa — Manchester City Council members recently approved a site plan for a proposed large retail building near West Marion Street.

City Manager Tim Vick said he has worked with BR Development LLC for about three months in attempting to identify a suitable location for the proposed 27,490-square-foot retail building.

The store will be located in the lot behind Pizza Ranch, and access to the building will be extended to the north and connect with Marion Street, although developers said they still are tweaking the plans a little bit.

The building is described as being a “turn-key package” that will take about eight months to complete with an expected opening date of the summer of 2021.

Council members will discuss a possible development deal consisting of annually appropriated tax-increment-financing payments at their Nov. 9 meeting, and the developer said it will announce who the tenant will be before that meeting takes place.

In other action, council members approved Police Chief James Hauschild’s request to add an additional emergency dispatcher after he said he was having a difficult time keeping shifts covered.

There are five dispatchers and a handful of part-timers, but Hauschild said that, given that dispatchers are needed 24/7 and there have been issues exacerbated by COVID-19, his only recourse was to add additional staff.

He said it had come to the point where he had to pull officers, who were also certified dispatchers, off the street to cover shifts and recently even had one staffer pull a 16-hour shift.

The council unanimously approved the request, which is expected to cost a little more than $62,000 annually.