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The excessive snowfall this year is taking it’s toll on the city’s snow removal budget.
City superintendent Brent Wise told the city council Monday evening the city’s snow removal budget has been “blown up” and there is no relief in sight as another snowstorm is about to hit the area again this week.
Between the costs of additional salt for the streets and contract hauling to remove the snow, it is estimated that the city is already more than $10,000 over budget for snow removal this season, and there is still a long way to go for winter.
Wise said that the city has been trying to time the snowfall to reduce the cost of contract hauling. Large piles of snow can be seen on the square as the city waits for new snowfall to try and remove it all at once. The city is also looking at the prospect of buying another used truck which can be used in snow removal efforts.
The council approved the first reading of an increase in garbage removal rates. The increase would be one dollar a month for residential customers and, if approved,would take effect July 1.
The ordinance would charge each residential premise $18 per month for the collection of one 65 gallon or one 95 gallon container per week. That is an increase from $17.00 per week.
The council agreed to spend $24,000 with gWorks of Lincoln, NE to develop a computer easement layer of all available and documented easements within the city’s jurisdiction.
The system would allow the city to be able to access what easements are on record in the community. The system would allow the city to reduce overhead hours of searching for easement information within the city and the county. It would also allow citizens to access the information. This access to easement information could be very beneficial in a proposed project to provide fiber optic access in the city.
A second contract with gWorks for $54,500 which would compile GPS data collection and digitization of a zoning map was tabled pending more information on what data the city already has on file.
Dara Greenland, representing the wellness coalition, sought council approval of a $3,000 grant from DEKKO to conduct a community needs survey. The survey would seek to determine of what wellness needs exist within Mount Ayr and the surrounding communities in the county by collecting surveys from 1,026 (20% of the area population) by April 15. The council approved the grant.
In other dissucions the council:
• approved easement agreements between the city and Chris and Jessi Grose and Keith and Jamie Miller.
• set a public hearing on the city budget for March 4 at 6 p.m.
• discussed water department policy updates relating to landowner/tenant responsibilities
•discussed passing along proposed 6 percent SIRWA rate increases to the public. The proposed budget calls for a two percent increase to be passed along the upcoming year.
•discussed the idea of contributing to the cost of getting an economic development director for the county to help in recruiting industry and retail businesses to the area.
• discussed sending representatives to the Iowa Rural Development Summit April 10-12 in Grinnell. The meeting brings together small-town leaders to share successes and best practices and considers solution to common problems they face.
• approved a Bronze Membership of $250 with the Iowa Rural Development Council.