The City Council of La Porte City met in regular session on February 23, 2015. Mayor David Neil called the meeting to order at 7 PM.
Among the items on the agenda was a discussion about the pricing of the remaining open lots in the Sweet Addition. The City Council wanted to explore ways to make the Sweet Lots more attractive to buyers. Fischels indicated that the lots may be more attractive to buyers if the City were to offer a second lot at a discount so that homeowners could build a larger house. Other pricing options were also discussed. Ultimately, the Council decided to reduce the price of the remaining lots $9,999, with the exception of Lot #7 which will be listed at $12,500. With a new price established, the Council rescinded the City’s previous development incentive agreement on any future offers made to purchase a Sweet Addition lot.
On a roll call vote, the Council passed Ordinance 485, which changes the zoning classification for the following parcels of City owned property from R-1 (residential) to M-1 (manufacturing): Lots 2, 8 and 9 of Block 23, Railroad Addition and Lot 0 of Block 16 of Railroad Addition.
Following a brief public hearing, where no comments written or oral were made, the City Council approved the 2016 Fiscal Year Budget for the City. The budget sets the levy rate $14.83756 per thousand dollars of taxable value. This will generate approximately $921,331 in revenue for the City to be used as follows: $575,366 for General Fund Expenditures, $165,727 for Employee Benefits (FICA, IPERS and Worker’s Compensation Insurance) and $180,238 for Debt Service.
Travis Hoy of the La Porte City Parks & Recreation Commission reviewed the multi-purpose court project the commission has been working on. Estimated costs for the court, which will be located in the City Park are $12,000, with $1,200 funded by the General Fund, $7,500 from grants and the remaining amount from fundraising efforts.
The Council adopted Resolution 15-11, establishing 2014 storm damage fund. The fund will be established to document the receipt of $15,981.12 in disaster funding, though no actual funds were received, as the State chose to apply the funds to the City’s duplication of benefits invoice from the 2008 Flood Buy Out.
In a related action, thge Council adopted Resolution 15-12, which transfers funds from the newly created 2014 storm damage fund to the 2008 flood buyout fund. The resolution reflects an adjustment of the financial records of the City, not an actual transfer of funds, as the State of Iowa did not disburse the 2014 storm damage grant funds, but instead credited the amount due from the 2008 Flood Buy Out duplication of payment.
The Council also authorized the City Clerk to sign the agreement with RAGBRAI, which will designate La Porte City as a pass-thru town on the 2015 RAGBRAI route. The event will take place on Thursday, July 23, 2015.
In other business, the Council authorized the collection of cost estimates for the purpose of establishing a Visitor and Business Information Center. The center would be located in the front of the building located at 200 Main Street and would serve as a center for residents and visitors seeking information about local events, businesses and other related information.