The La Porte City Community Center was nearly full on Monday night, as groups representing the FFA Historical & Ag Museum and the La Porte City Fire/Rescue Department were in attendance to address items on the Council’s agenda.

Of particular interest to supporters of the museum was the public hearing related to the City’s 2017 Fiscal Year budget. While the Council conducted the hearing as planned, the actual adoption of the budget had to be tabled until the March 14 City Council Meeting. State law requires that a notice of the budget hearing be published no fewer than ten and no more than twenty days prior to the hearing. Anticipating a large number of museum supporters in attendance, Mayor Neil granted the request to move the City Council meeting from City Hall to the Community Center, after the original notice citing City Hall as the hearing’s location had been published.

Mayor Neil called the meeting to order at 7 PM with Council members Kristi Harrill, Brent Sadler and David Williams present. Absent were Council members Eric Allsup and Mike Johnson.
Following the opening of the public hearing for the FY2017 budget, Museum Board President Sherry Sheffler presented a petition to the City Council requesting $31,485 from the City’s General Fund to support the operation of the museum. The current proposal is to allocate $16,485.

Three speakers, Louis Beck, Maureen Hanson and Cole Moody addressed the Council in support of the museum. Following a brief question and answer period, the public hearing was closed and the adoption of the FY2017 budget was formally tabled.

The Council reviewed bids for the Bishop Avenue reconstruction project, which involves the section of road running from the Six Corners intersection to the railroad tracks adjacent to ECI Co-Op property. Base bids ranging from $715,832.15 to $835,406.75 were received. The Council tabled action on the matter while the City investigates other repair and reconstruction options for the project.

After reviewing two bids for the City’s new Public Works facility, the Council awarded the project to Spahn & Rose in the amount of $365,933.00.
The Council also set March 14, 2016 as the date for two public hearings. The first will consider a request to rezone lots 1 and 10 of Block 23, Railroad Addition from R1 “Residential” to M1 “Light Manufacturing/Industrial.” The second will address the sale of eight lots in the Sweet Addition.

In other business, the Council approved the recommendation of the La Porte City Fire/Rescue officers to appoint Matthew Vogeler and Jesse Hyden as probationary members of the La Porte City Fire/Rescue Department.

A request for street closures and services from organizers of Bargain on the Bricks was also approved. The event, which will be held September 10, 2016, will result in the closure of the 300, 400 and 500 blocks of Main Street.

For the final item of new business on the agenda, the Council went into closed session at 7:54 PM as provided in Section 21.5(1)(i) of the Iowa Code “to evaluate the professional competency of an individual whose appointment, hiring, performance, or discharge is being considered when necessary to prevent needless and irreparable injury to that individual’s reputation and that individual requests a closed session.” Following the resumption of open session at 8:13 PM, the Council terminated Shane Clark from the La Porte City Fire Service on a 3-0 vote.