Seward Diary Queen will be new and improved come 2021.
The Seward City Council held a public hearing during its Nov. 19 meeting for the Tax Increment Financing application of Fitzpatrick Enterprises doing business as Seward Dairy Queen for 344 N. Sixth St. and 345 N. Fifth St.
Dairy Queen owner Dave Fitzpatrick said he plans to tear down the current Dairy Queen and create more parking, as well as remove the house at 345 N. Sixth St. and replace it with a new Dairy Queen building.
During the public hearing, Bonnie McCracken, a neighbor to the proposed new Dairy Queen at 345 N. Fifth St., spoke about her concerns.
McCracken said she was worried with the new building being next to her home she would hear everything from the drive-through speakers as well as see headlights from cars. She also was concerned about traffic flow to the alley.
City Administrator Greg Butcher said there would be signs to have cars wait to pull forward until they have room to clear the alley.
A fence would help block headlights.
Council member Ellen Beck asked Fitzpatrick to work with his neighbors.
“We plan to,” Fitzpatrick said. “I want to be a good neighbor.”
The council approved the plans and a Tax Increment Financing application for the project.
TIF is a revitalization tool available to cities and villages under state law. It allows the city to offer tax incentives for companies to revitalize blighted or substandard areas.
It will allow Fitzpatrick to use a portion of the property tax money he would owe the city to instead complete the project, eventually increasing the area’s valuation, then pay back the money after a period of time.
Mayor Josh Eickmeier said he is pleased with the plan because it will alleviate cars being out on the highway trying to enter the drive-through.
Work is expected to begin sometime in 2020 and be complete in 2021.