Candidates for Coralville Mayor talk controversial tax incentive - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Candidates for Coralville Mayor talk controversial tax incentives and other issues

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CORALVILLE (KWWL) -

Coralville Mayor Jim Fausett is not running for re-election after serving for nearly 20 years. Now four people are campaigning for the job.

John Lundell has served on the Coralville City Council for ten years. He thinks some of the council's achievements are development areas like the University of Iowa Research Park and the Iowa River Landing.

"The biggest challenge is probably just to continue to be able to maintain the bar that we've set," said Lundell.

Matt Adam has been considering a run for city council for several years. He says he's an advocate for transparency and reducing the city's debt.

"A lot of people are concerned about the debt," said Adam. "How it's going to be paid back? What effect is that going to have on me, a taxpayer here in Coralville?

Adam believes a big part of what led to the debt is the way the city used Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to draw in retailers at Iowa River Landing.

"They could have done it differently that would have benefited taxpayers to where they would not have had to carry the burden," said Adam.

Lundell says the city strategically used TIF and has a plan to pay money back.

"Every piece of debt that we have is an investment in the community and every dime was planned ahead of time with the plan to pay it back," said Lundell.

Dave Fesler did not want to go on camera. He says he's running because he loves his hometown. Fesler's father was the mayor of Coralville in the 1960's. Fesler wants to protect the city's reputation.

The final candidate is Logan Strabala who is just 18 years old. He's a senior at Iowa City West High School and did not reply to our request for an interview.

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