The City Council of La Porte City, Iowa met in regular session on November 24, 2014. Mayor David Neil called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM with Council Members Eric Allsup, Todd Butler, Sarah Craft, Mike Johnson and Brent Sadler present.
Library Director Jolene Kronschnabel presented the Hawkins Library Quarterly Report for July – September, 2014. During the third quarter of 2014, the library circulated 7,828 items, saving patrons approximately $115,000 borrowing from the library, as opposed to purchasing them outright.
The City Council held a public hearing on the Façade Improvement Grant application. If approved, a grant from Iowa Economic Development Authority would provide up to $500,000 in funding for façade improvements to Main Street businesses. The Council also approved a resolution that commits $150,000 in matching funds to the program if the City’s application is approved.
The Council reviewed the recommendation from the Planning & Zoning Commission that the City make no changes to the current ordinance that excludes structures from the zoning exemption for essential services. Maintaining the exemption means that when structures related to essential services are built, they must conform to the zoning requirements in effect at their location.
A request to rezone City owned property from R1 (Residential) to M1 (Manufacturing) was forwarded to the Planning & Zoning Commission. The property is located at the termination of Elm Street where the City currently keeps recycling containers. Rezoning the property would allow for the construction of Public Works Facility at that location. The Planning & Zoning Commission will consider the request and submit a recommendation to the Council at a future meeting.
Bill Bergmeier addressed the Council on issues encountered with the construction of his new home. Bergmeier contends that the inspections and requirements being placed on his project are not consistent with those of other contractors. Mayor Neil will meet with Bergmeier, the City’s Building Administrator and the building inspector to review the situation.
The Council approved the FY 2016 TIF Certification. The certification is the City’s request for Tax Increment Financing revenues for Fiscal Year 2016 and must be submitted to the Black Hawk County Auditor by December 1, 2014. The Certification includes $120,000 for the La Porte City Aquatic Center general obligation bond payments, $339 for the Witham Auto incentive agreement and approximately $10,825 for the Sweet Addition general obligation bond payment.
Bryce Miller and Brent Vobr were appointed members of the La Porte City Fire/Rescue Service.
An update to the Ambulance Billing Policy was approved. The update adds fire billings to the policy which sets forth collection methods for fire and ambulance billing, as well as the procedure for submitting unpaid bills to the State’s Income Offset Program.
The Council reviewed bids for a new grass fire truck for the La Porte City Fire Department. Bids for the truck included Karl Chevrolet: $29,812 (no trade); Stivers Ford Lincoln: $28,303 (no trade); Witham Auto Center: $23,895.00 (includes $4,000 trade). Other expenses for the truck include paint, bed liner and radio and light installation totaling $5,525.
The bid from Witham in the amount of $23,895 was accepted for the truck. The other expenses were also approved for a total cost of $29,420.
An Expense reimbursement policy was adopted and will be added to the employee handbook. The policy sets forth requirements for submitting requests for reimbursement, as well as a list of acceptable expenses.
Sherry Sheffler was reappointed to the FFA Historical & Ag Museum Board of Directors. Sheffler’s term will begin immediately and expire October 31, 2019.
The Council took no action on a request to designate December 26, 2014 as a paid holiday for the City’s non-bargaining unit employees.