As the Truman Library and Truman Library Institute puts together a $25 million fundraising campaign – $18 million of which will go toward and expansion and remodeling of the Library exhibits – it hopes to receive some help from the state via the city of Independence.

Independence's City Council on Monday unanimously authorized city staff to apply for tax credits from the Missouri Development Finance Board for the Truman Library project.

The MFDB grants up to $10 million per year in tax credits at a match of 50 percent of eligible contributions by donors who support local municipal programs. Eligible programs or projects include those that promote tourist and cultural facilities. In order for a municipal project such as the Truman Library project to receive tax credits, they must be directly or indirectly supported by a local municipality and that municipality must sponsor the project before the MDFB.

The city has spent $1.8 million in recent years on nearby McCoy Park and more than $1 million per year in tourism marketing, that logically has Truman among the big highlights.

The city also is applying for two grants to complete the first phase of the Truman Trail Connection Project, which is the trail along Bess Truman Parkway from U.S. 24 to College Street, and plans to work with the Missouri Department of Transportation on pedestrian enhancements as part of the planned U.S. 24 bridge replacement at Bess Truman Parkway.

“We feel like (the tax credits) would be a huge jumpstart to our campaign,” said Alex Burton, executive director of the Truman Library Institute. “We've had several multi-million-dollar donor prospects tell me that their gift will be larger if we can get tax credits, so for us it's a huge priority.”


Donation bins

The council also approved an ordinance to add regulations for donation bins, hoping to address what at times became cluttering eyesores. Previously, a donation bin could be on the parking lot of a closed business; now they must be on lots adjacent to open and active businesses.

Bins also are limited to one for sites of 5 acres or less and two bins for any larger sites. Prior, there could be two bins on sites of an acre or less and up to five bins on sites larger than an acre. Bins also must be set back at least 100 feet from any right-of-way line.

Removing abandoned and non-compliant bins will be handled through the city's enforcement process, which allows for an appeal, and it will be the responsibility of the bin owner, not the property owner.

In other votes, the council:

• Allocated the remaining $63,926 from the Council Goals Fund for demolition of dangerous buildings. The city has spent the nearly $192,000 budgeted in Community Development with several prior demolitions this fiscal year.

City Manager Zach Walker said the abandoned West Hayward Avenue foundry will be scheduled for demolition soon after contractors complete utility kills.

• Approved a contract with Tennessee-based ChandlerThinks to develop a streamlined branding strategy and identity for the city. According to the city, there are more than 40 separate logos used by various departments in their marketing efforts. The contract is for $50,000.

• Approved a contract with the Wilson Group for $175,278 for the elevator project at the National Frontier Trails Museum. The city recently acquired ownership of the museum building from the state, a move approved state lawmakers months ago.