A plan to refurbish La Porte City’s aging baseball and softball diamonds continues to move forward following action taken at last week’s City Council meeting. On September 10, the Council approved a proposal from MSA Professional Services, which includes developing a site plan and design work for the pair of diamonds located near the City Gazebo. Estimated cost for the work is $14,500.

In support of the project, the Council will also pursue a Land and Water Conservation Grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, utilizing the grant writing services of INRCOG. Total cost for grant writing is 1.5% of the grant award, with a minimum of $1,000 due if the grant is awarded. Land and Water Conservation grants range in amounts up to a maximum of $75,000.

The Council also received a request from Jeremy and Megan Neiswonger for permission to place a bench in memory of Jake Wilson near Wolf Creek Landing. Jeremy Neiswonger will be building the bench himself. The Neiswongers also requested that the area be renamed Jake’s Landing.

Hawkins Memorial Library Director Jolene Kronschnabel presented the Library Report for Fiscal Year 2018. The library continues to be a very busy place. In addition to a 15% increase in the number of people attending library programs last year, there was also a 15% increase in the use of Bridges, the library’s online book borrowing system. Additionally, the library applied for and received $3,700 in grants for library programs and improvements throughout the year.

In other business, the Council adopted Resolution 18-59, amending the employee handbook to change the residency requirement for critical personnel to apply only to full time public works and public safety employees. Previously, the requirement applied to all personnel, which limited the City’s ability to hire and retain part-time police officers. The change was also extended to part-time public works employees, as they tend to be seasonal workers.