Prior to the regular meeting, the City Council held a work session to review public safety budgets for Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017).
The City Council of La Porte City, Iowa met in regular session on December 14, 2015. Mayor David Neil called the meeting to order at 7 PM with Council Members Eric Allsup, Todd Butler, Mike Johnson and Brent Sadler present. Absent was Council Member Sarah Craft. Also present were Kristi Harrill, David Williams, Brent Waters, Mike Strubel, Mark Bergmeier, Bruce Wigg, Dana Wigg.
Brent Waters of Ridihalgh, Fuelling, Snitker, Weber & Co. presented the report for the City’s Fiscal Year 2015 Audit. Waters reviewed the City’s financial statements as well as findings and areas for improvement. A copy of the auditor’s report is available for review at City Hall.
The Council conducted public hearings related to the voluntary annexation and rezoning of a half an acre of property adjacent to the northwest corner of the city. Another public hearing addressed a change in zoning for property located at 800 Commercial Street.
The first reading of three ordinances related to the City’s building code were held. Two of the ordinances are related to Chapters 155 (building code) and 159 (residential code). In both cases, the ordinances amend the permit requirements and exemptions from the City’s building code. The first reading of those ordinances passed on a 3-1 vote, with Council Member Mike Johnson casting the dissenting votes on each.
The third ordinance, Ordinance 503, amends Chapter 156 of the City’s electrical code by deleting it in its entirety. This measure was passed unanimously and will be effective upon publication after the Council waived the second and third readings. This move was made in conjunction with a change in building inspection services, after the City of Waterloo terminated its agreement with the City to provide inspection services, effective on December 16, 2015. Permits issued in La Porte City related to electrical work will now be inspected by the State of Iowa, which conducts inspections throughout the state based on its own set of building codes, making the need for an ordinance specifying local building codes for electrical permits unnecessary.
In other business, the Council appointed Mike Strubel as the City’s Temporary Building Inspector. The appointment of a permanent inspector is expected to made at the Council’s meeting on December 28, 2015.
The Council also approved a bid for a new phone system, awarding the contract to Hawkeye Alarm at a cost of $3,169.
The final item of business saw the Council enter closed session “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.” After returning to open session, the Council placed Public Works employee Gerry Jacobsen on probation for 90 days. During that time, Jacobsen will be restricted from performing safety sensitive job duties.