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The city of Mount Ayr will finally have their own website.
During a short meeting Monday evening, the council approved of the hiring of Chanse Hall of Mount Ayr to build a city web site.
The cost of the website will be $10,000 for design and implementation. Half of that amount will be paid upfront with the remaining $5,000 being paid upon completion.
The agreement with Hall includes 24 hours of support per year. If the city needs additional support, it will be billed at $50 per hour.
“It’s time to move into the 21st century,” said councilman Ken Robertston in making the motion to approve the contract.
The website will allow residents to view ordinances, events, fill out various forms such as nuisance or building permit requests or even pay water bills online.
Councilman Brad Elliott asked if cheaper options might be available. City superintendent Brent Wise said the last bid they received to build a website was for $14,000.
The vote to approve the contract was unanimous. It is believed Mount Ayr is the only county seat city in Iowa not to have their own website.
The council passed the first reading of an ordinance to increase the pay for council members and the mayor.
Once the ordinance is approved, the pay for the mayor will increase from $6,000 per year to $7,200, payable in equal monthly installments.
The pay for council members will increase to $75 per meeting. Currently they are paid $50 per meeting.
The ordinance also addresses conflicts of interest. Once passed, cumulative purchases that benefit a city officer or employee will not exceed $6,000 in a fiscal year. That level is currently set at $2,500 per year.
Wise informed the council that David Stone of Stone Planning, LLC would be in the city Tuesday and Wednesday of this week to begin working on the recreation facility feasibility study. Stone will be meeting with various groups and stakeholders as he begins the process of putting the study together.
Several weeks ago the council approved hiring Stone to do that study at a cost of $55,000. Local benefactors Larry and Rita Hunter have pledged $40,000 to the cost of the study and a grant, if approved, would cover the $15,500 balance.
In other business, Susan Kinney was on hand for the final plat survey for her subdivision on the north side of Mount Ayr. No action was taken, however, as the final plat was not submitted to the council for the meeting. Action was postponed to a future meeting.
The council also approved partial payments for the water piping project, delayed setting a public hearing date on designation of the Mount Ayr Industrial Park Urban Renewal Area and on Urban Renewal Plan and Projects and approved the hiring of Robbie Mason to the city crew at a rate of $15.50 per hour.
Other routine matters included possible changes to the city tree ordinance and brief updates on nuisance properties.
The possibility of a parking lot easement on the city owned parking lot in front of the former Shopko building was briefly discussed. The council agreed that they would wait until they knew who would be utilizing the building before addressing any easement. The agreed that would be willing to work with a company wanting to move into the building by using the parking lot as an incentive.