The City Council of La Porte City, Iowa met in regular session on February 8, 2016. Mayor David Neil called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM with Council Members Eric Allsup, Kristi Harrill, Mike Johnson, Brent Sadler and David Williams present. Also present was Amy Homan, Randy Carlholm and BJ Ruzika.
The Council reviewed the proposed bonding schedule for the Bishop Avenue project. Estimated costs of the project are $785,000. The Council also reviewed a bond schedule for an $885,000 bond that would include funding for the City’s portion of the Downtown Façade Grant. TIF revenues would be utilized to pay for a portion of the debt service on the bond. TIF stands for Tax Increment Financing, which is the difference in the amount of property taxes collected before and after a TIF district is created.
In response to a request from the Iowa Northern Railroad to change the zoning of lots 1 and 10 of block 23 of the Railroad Addition from R1 to M1, the Council forwarded the matter to the Planning & Zoning Commission for consideration. If approved, the Iowa Northern Railroad plans to lease the land to Verizon for the construction of a cell tower.
The Council approved Resolution 16-11, which sets the salaries of seasonal employees of the Aquatic Center and Recreation program. Changes made by the Council for the 2016 summer season include making the salaries for the Pool Manager and Assistant Pool Manager negotiable at hire, and setting the salaries for the 3rd-4th softball coach and assistant coach at $800 and $400, respectively.
Resolution 16-12, Setting Union Wages, was approved by the Council on a 4-0 votes, with Harrill abstaining due to a conflict of interest. The resolution sets the FY17 salaries for union employees in accordance with the negotiated agreement. The Council also passed a Resolution 16-13, which sets the wages for the city’s regular employees not covered by a bargaining agreement.
In other personnel action taken at the meeting, the Council set the salary of Officer Christopher Brecher at $17.60 per hour, effective November 26, 2015. Resolutions were also passed to add 40 hours of vacation to Police Chief Larry Feaker for FY17, in lieu of a salary increase, and amended benefits for the City’s Deputy Clerk, making the position eligible for holiday pay, effective July 1, 2016. The Council accepted the resignation of police officer Jordan Ehlers. Ehlers last day on the job was February 11, 2016.
Resolution 16-10, which set the time and date for consultation and public hearing associated with the City’s Urban Renewal Report, was passed by the Council. Following a consultation meeting scheduled for February 15, 2016, a public hearing will take place on March 14, 2016.
In other business, the Council approved Mayor Neil’s appointment of Susan Robertson to the Historic Preservation Commission. Robertson’s three year term will begin February 23, 2016 and run for three years.