Hotel/motel tax grants approved

CRESCO - Two organizations were approved for their total request from the Hotel/motel tax grants by the City of Cresco, at the Jan. 9 meeting.
Driftrunners Snowfest celebration was given $3,500 to help support the 52nd Annual Snowfest event.
Cresco Area Chamber of Commerce was awarded $2,500 to help with marketing local events.
Council person Amy Bouska said of the grants, “I encourage all organizations to apply for the grants. Looking back over the past 10 or so years, we found the grants usually go to the top 4-5 events, including Chamber, Fair and Driftrunners activities.”
• In other business from the meeting, the City gave a counter proposal for Hawkeye Sanitation’s contract. 
~ The City wanted to give Jan. 1, 2023 as the starting date of the contract and Dec. 31, 2027 as the ending date.
~ Instead of garbage collection starting at 4 a.m., it was proposed to start commercial customer garbage collection at 4 a.m., but make 6 a.m. the earliest to pick up residential garbage.
~ Instead of having the Recycling Center open 24 hours on Monday nights, Council wanted to have it open for four daylight hours on a weekend day.
~ Council agreed to allow the City to bill both residential and commercial customers for Hawkeye, with changes to be given to the City in writing.
~ In addition, it was suggested to be more specific on the definition of some terms, such as residential and commercial businesses.
• Public Works Director Nate Widell stated Mehmert started working on the trail at the yardwaste site, going south.
He also reminded residents not to pile up snow within 20 feet of intersections.
• Police Chief Tim Ruroden reported the month of December was quiet. He added the department had received a $2,000 donation for active shooter supplies.
• Deputy Clerk Niki Hill stated a grant was received from Interstate Power for the HVAC audit report. The City also received a rebate from Alliant Energy for the EV charging station, which along with other grants makes the electric vehicle station 100% paid for.
When asked how many people are using the station, it was mentioned for the first few months, it was not on the EV charging map. Since it was put on, the number of users has been rising.
• Gatlin Keehner came before Council asking if he could have an extension on paying back his Police Academy training or get a reduced rate. The City had paid for the training, and when he graduated, he went to the Howard County Sheriff’s Department.
The current contract asks to be paid back in two years, which would be about $1,500 per month, a hardship for Keehner.
Council person Gary Kriener said council could not make an exception. “If we start deviating, we open a Pandora’s box. This is nothing personal.”
It was suggested Keehner get a loan if he needed an extension.
• Jason Passmore of Howard County Economic Development updated council members on the IEDA Community Catalyst grant program for Vernon Springs Brewery. The project is still moving forward.
He replied there is no grant money available for painting the train in Beadle Park.
He stated the Broken Road Grill & Bar is now closed and in the process of being listed for sale.
Some loan funds given in 2022 that have been helpful to the community for $149,000 retained 20 jobs and allowed for 23 new employees. There are two projects at a total of $150,000 that will hopefully be on the books in early 2023. That leaves about $330,000 left for loans in Howard County.
Passmore also mentioned $250,000 available for a new housing revolving loan fund of which the details are still being finalized. “We are looking at rentals, many of them would be upper story rentals,” he said.
• The Liquor License for Casey’s #2511 was approved. A tax abatement was approved for Aaron and Melissa Hvitved and Kristopher and Erica Sajdak. The tree surgeon license for Andera Tree Service was approved. Sewer adjustments were made for water not entering the sanitary sewer system were approved for Dulcie Ollendieck and Matt Munkel.
• Final adjustments will be made to the proposed FY2024 budget in time to have a public hearing at the next Council meeting on Jan. 23.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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