Cleaning up the town
Wed, 07/19/2017 - 1:02pm admin
—Lime Springs buckling down on junk vehicles
Marcie Klomp News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Lime Springs - City Council members decided to make an effort to have residents of Lime Springs remove their junk/unregistered vehicles from their property in preparation of next year’s 150th celebration. Violators were sent registered letters to notify them of their non-compliance to the city ordinance.
Public Works Director Casey Sebastian explained, “There were 27-28 letters sent. Now there’s more after people started looking around and saw more.” All but seven individuals accepted the registered letters.
Council debated how to handle the seven letters. Sheriff Mike Miner, who was in attendance for another issue, suggested to have the letter taped to the front or back door, like water shut off notices are delivered. If nothing is done, then the city could have the Sheriff’s Department hand deliver the letter, at a cost of $20 plus mileage (a total of around $31).
Resident Pam Bowen spoke on behalf of husband Mark in saying they received a letter but did not have a junk/non-registered vehicle. Council expressed thanks for her coming to the meeting and said there would be no further action taken on its part.
Councilman Todd Mensink did ask the other members, “What is our end game? What about lawn mowers or refrigerators sitting around?”
• In other business, Libby Schwade and Jerry Johnson represented Spring Ahead Learning Center on the raise in rent given to them for the July bill. The rent increased from $100 to $125 with no explanation given. She was curious as to the reason so she could explain it to her board.
Councilman Brian Johnson said SALC lost money for the City last year.
Schwade asked what SALC costs the city annually and what the rent covers. She explained how the facility benefits the city. “There have been people who come to Lime Springs, I can think of 3-4 families, only because of the learning center. Some families have even purchased a season ticket to the pool for the first time because of SALC.” She also stated the facility pays the electricity, which includes the FEMA lights that are required to be on 24 hours a day.
After hearing the deficit of $2,075 from the prior year, the $300 increase seemed more than fair.
Mensink continued, “We don’t want to price you out.”
Johnson said, “Now that we know the deficit, it is manageable.”
• Johnson was again on the agenda for property he has been mowing for years. The railroad land is actually owned by a bankrupted company, CMC Property. Johnson said the property would probably go up for auction after the September tax payment. “Does the city have the means to condemn it, and then I would buy it from the city?”
There had been no answer from the city’s attorney, Kevin Schoeberl, on the issue. Council will look into the matter.
• The City will look into getting an additional attorney to take care of some legal matters that need immediate attention.
• Water and sewer usage and rates will all be raised five percent.
• Gary Weyers addressed council about a bike trail going from Brown Park to Casey’s, which was first introduced a few months ago. He was told by County Engineer Nick Rissman since the property going out to Highway 63 was annexed by the City of Lime Springs, the city might have the right-of-way in the south ditch to move forward.
• Miner brought forward the issue of putting four cameras at the five-way intersection in town. He reminded council of several major thefts in town that might have been solved if cars driving around could have been identified.
He said the cost to have the video go from City Hall to the Law Enforcement Center would be around $21,000. He has about $8,000 available if the city could come up with the remainder. He thought perhaps local businesses would donate toward the cause.
The sheriff added more cameras could be added at a later time if wanted. He also hopes to get cameras in Elma and Riceville.
Miner also said a speed trailer had been purchased by the sheriff’s office and could be set up in town at no cost.
• The total bid on having a loop system for the Community Center’s geothermal unit is $90,000. Mayor Kevin Bill’s question was, “Who is going to pay for it?”
The Community Center has already received grants for around $6,000.
City Clerk Rhonda Klapperich will look into different scenarios for payment options and bring them to the August meeting.
• Fire Chief Nate Schwickerath reported the fire department has been diligently fund-raising lately, including participating in the Elma Golf Tournament, equipment security at Mighty Howard County Fair and Father’s Day Breakfast.
The department is also getting ready for the Sweet Corn Days breakfast, which they will charge $10 for adults and free for 12 and under.
The department has attended parades in Chester and Cherry Grove, received a grant from IMT for new hose, storm spotted and ordered radios for each firefighter. “The radios are a huge safety issue.”
• No representative was present from the Library.
• The Community Center is still playing Bingo, according to board member Ed Hampe.
• New play equipment was being installed at the ballfield.
• Sebastian reported he is still waiting to hear when the solar panels will be installed, but assured council it would be this fiscal year.
West Jackson Street will be closed for a few days for removal of concrete.
One resident hired Dusty’s Tree Service to trim a boulevard tree after a storm without the city’s approval, so the bill was denied.
The next City Council meeting will be Tuesday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m. at the Community Center.