The City Council of La Porte City, Iowa met in regular session on June 22, 2015. Mayor David Neil called the meeting to order at 7 PM with Council Members Eric Allsup, Todd Butler Sarah Craft, Mike Johnson and Brent Sadler present. Also present were Black Hawk County Attorney Dave Mason, Jacob Huck with MSA Services and other guests.
The Council discussed the Order to Abate Nuisance at 205 Main Street. The City’s legal counsel advised that the City should issue a citation for a municipal infraction and seek a judgment authorizing penalties and granting the City authority to go onto the premises to abate the nuisance. Moved by Craft, seconded by Sadler to follow through with abatement in accordance with the City Attorney’s recommendations.
Moved by Craft, seconded by Butler to approve the second reading of an ordinance establishing Chapter 58 of the Code of Ordinances – Urban Chickens. The ordinance would limit the number of chickens to four (4) per property, and require those wishing to keep chickens to obtain a permit from the City and pay a one-time permit fee of $35. The proposed ordinance would also give the City Council the authority to revoke the permit of anyone who does not comply with its terms. Moved by Craft, seconded by Butler to suspend the rules requiring three readings and move to the third and final reading. The roll call vote passed 5-0 and Mayor Neil declared Ordinance 489 adopted and effective upon publication.
After voting to susspend the rules requiring three readings, the City Council approved Ordinance 490 on a 5-0 vote. The amendment specifies the type of containers to be used for trash and recycling containers as well as the time and placement of containers for collection.
Dave Mason from the Black Hawk County Attorney’s Office presented information on a small area of land under Wolf Creek. The Black Hawk County Conservation Board would like to establish ownership of the property for the purpose of granting an easement to Century Link as well as the anticipated replacement of the L3 Bridge on the Cedar Valley Nature Trail. However, land records are unclear as to the actual owner of the property. The Conservation Board is requesting a quit claim deed from the City for the property. The Council approved Resolution 15-46, setting a public hearing date regarding the transfer of property on July 13, 2015.
The City Council also approved a grant administration contract with MSA Professional Services in the amount of $20,000 for administration of the Downtown Façade Grant Program.
The Council voted to forward a request is to rezone the property located at 800 Commercial St from Commercial (C2) to Industrial or Manufacturing (M1) for the purpose of constructing rental storage units. The Planning & Zoning Commission will meet on July 20, 2015 to consider the request.
The Council also approved the RAGBRAI Severe Weather Plan, which documents the procedures to be followed in the event of severe weather during RAGBRAI’s visit to La Porte City on July 23, 2015. Designated as facilities to be used as storm shelters are the Fire Station, City Hall, Community Center, Hawkins Memorial Library, FFA Museum and St Paul United Methodist Church.
On a 3-2 vote with Johnson and Allsup opposed, the Council voted to reconsider the ordinance changing the zoning classification of a certain property from R-1 to C-2. The ordinance would change the zoning for a property located in the area of Hwy 218 and E. Reinbeck Rd. The City Council held a public hearing and considered the ordinance at its June 8, 2015 meeting. The first reading of the ordinance was defeated by a Council vote of 3-2, with Allsup, Johnson and Sadler opposed. Under City Council rules, a motion to reconsider a prior vote shall be made by a Council member who was on the prevailing side in the original action. Motion passed 3-2 with Johnson and Allsup opposed. The first reading of the ordinance will take place at the July 13, 2015 City Council meeting.