NEOLA — Dirt work is underway in Neola, the first steps in a plan city officials hope will add 200 homes to the area.
The Meyerring Hill addition will start with 10 lots — each about 17,000 square feet — located in the northwest corner of Neola.
“Right now our biggest strategic priority is growth,” said Clint Fichter, city attorney and a projects manager for Neola. “This subdivision allows us to extend the city to utilize buildable land.”
McCarthy Trenching of Avoca is prepping the lots, with crews working the muddy land Thursday after some rain. Neola is working with the owner of adjacent farmland, with an eye toward developing about 200 lots on the more than 100 area acres in the future, Fichter said. With about 400 homes currently in the town of 862 people, it would grow Neola by 50%.
“There is so much interest in moving to our area,” Fichter said. “Our location close to the metro and on I-80. There are just a lot of advantages to Neola, it’s a great market.”
And now there’s the chance to expand. Neola Mayor Karla Pogge said the town was “landlocked” for years by landowners not interested in selling. The new addition is named after the family of Gary and Agness Meyerring, who’s family sold the land to the Neola after their passing.
As the town looks to grow, it’s also looking to retain residents. The Neola Betterment Corp., is working on 10 cottages for seniors and others looking to downsize but hoping to stay in town. The group will take care of mowing and snow removal as well, Pogge said.
“It’s kind of a bedroom community, because we are close enough to the city,” Pogge said, but she noted there are plenty of amenities, including an expanded city park that offers a walking and bicycling trail. “People are loving it, out there walking or riding bikes every day. It’s amazing to see, and for a small town, we have a tremendous amount of little businesses. You can take care of most about everything in town.”
The dirt work at Meyerring Hill started about a month ago. Fichter said the biggest obstacle “by a lot” was connecting the area to the city’s sewer system. A nearby lift station is sized to service 200 lots.
The city will sell to individuals first, Fichter said.
“We want individuals and families to have the first chance to purchase them,” he said.
That chance officially starts at 9 a.m. on Monday, with the city taking names of those interested in specific lots until 3 p.m. on Aug. 17. The lots will be priced at $40,000 — with a $5,000 deposit required. Call Neola City Hall at 712-485-2307 for more information.
If more than one prospective buyer puts in for a particular lot, there will be a sealed bidding process at 11 a.m. on Aug. 20.
The Neola City Council approved language during a special meeting on July 23 that said lots will not be open for sale to contractors until after Aug. 17.
Unofficially, Pogge said there have been inquiries from seven people already on the lots.
“We think the houses are going to sell quickly,” Fichter said. “We’ve had more interest in housing in the area than we have lots available — that’s why we’re doing this project.”
“Demand seems to be very strong, whether here locally or from outside the community,” he continued. “It’s time to capitalize on that.”
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