The City Council of La Porte City, Iowa met in regular session on May 27, 2014.  Mayor David Neil called the meeting to order at 7 PM with Council Members Todd Butler, Mike Johnson and Brent Sadler present. Absent were Council Members Eric Allsup and Sarah Craft.
City Attorney Corey Lorenzen reported that the judgment in the Koopman bankruptcy case has been entered. In a related matter, Lorenzen continues to discuss possible settlement options with the State.
Lorenzen also updated the Council on a question that was raised about allowing metal roofs in the community. The zoning ordinance will not allow the City to place any restrictions on metal roofs. However, restrictions could be placed in the building code, if the City so desires. Lorenzen recommended limiting metal roof restrictions to residential areas of the community. He also recommended grandfathering in existing metal roofs that are already in the community. City staff will develop a new ordinance for Council consideration at a future meeting.
Library Director Jolene Kronschnabel presented a report for the first quarter of 2014. Konschnabel reported that from January through March 2014, a total of 6,136 items were circulated by the library, saving patrons a total of $62,045, the amount that would have been paid had the materials been purchased at retail value.
In a report to the Council, Fire Chief Shane Clark explained the procedure the Fire Department has followed when filling private swimming pools. In such cases, La Porte City Utilities bills the pool’s homeowner for the water used to fill the pool. The Fire Department then typically requests the homeowner make a donation to the fire association for the use of City equipment.
The Council adopted a resolution that approved the sale of Lot 29, Sweet First Addition, to Dennis and Shirley Huisman for $17,000.
The Council adopted a resolution approving a budget amendment for Fiscal Year 2014 that shows a reduction in estimated revenues of $780,031 and a reduction in estimated expenditures of $548,945.
The second reading of an ordinance that would allow operation of golf carts on certain streets in the City as authorized by Section 321.247 of the Code of Iowa was approved after discussion.  Butler indicated that he felt the ordinance was not necessary. Johnson indicated he would like to see specific language included in the ordinance that would give pedestrians and bike riders the right of way on the trail to the Anton Addition, requiring golf carts to pull off and stop. City staff will add this language. The final reading will take place at the June 9th City Council meeting.
The Council then approved Civil War Encampment activities that will be conducted during the Festival of Trails Celebration. The approval grants permission  for members of Battery G Civil War artillery reenactment units to camp on public property, build a bonfire and conduct cannon fire as part of their activities June 13-15.
The Council approved the first reading of two ordinances. The first prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes in public buildings. The second sets specific penalties for violations of the City’s Code of Ordinances regarding nuisance abatement. Penalties for violation of the junk and junk vehicle ordinance are $100 per occurrence, while the penalty for violating the dangerous buildings ordinance is $250 per occurrence. The second reading of these ordinances will take place at the June 9, 2014 City Council meeting.