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The Mount Ayr city council covered a wide range of topics at its regular meeting Monday, March 1.
Liberty Lake donation
Following through on its pledge from several months ago, the council voted to donate $12,600 toward a matching grant for improvements to Liberty Lake north of Mount Ayr.
At Monday’s meeting, Ringgold County Conservation Director Kate Zimmerman reported her department was currently only $12,600 short of raising the $100,000 to match another $100,000 in a Land and Water Conservation grant. The deadline to raise the necessary matching funds is the end of this month.
The city donation now completes the goal to match the grant requirements.
Zimmerman stated the grant proceeds would go toward a shower house and other improvements at the lake facility.
“Ringgold County Conservation is thrilled with our progress at Liberty Lake and we continue to be in shock and awe at the generosity of the people and businesses in the communities of Ringgold County,” said Zimmerman. “The City of Mount Ayr continues to be an incredible partner for us and the $12,600 donation made at the meeting tonight has completed the match of $100,000 we needed to retain our LWCF grant. We could not be more grateful for this contribution and the City of Mount Ayr’s continuous support of our endeavors at Liberty Lake. Ringgold County Conservation will continue to seek grants and donations until we meet our Phase 3 goal for the Liberty Lake project.”
Excess water usage
The council approved a new policy dealing with unexpected excessive water usage.
Often when water leaks go unnoticed for a period of time, property owners are faced extremely high water bills. The new policy addresses such situations.
According to the policy, an adjustment would be calculated by taking an average of the customer’s water bills for the three-month period immediately preceding the start of the reported leak. The adjustment will be 50 percent of the excess over the cost of the customer’s average water bill.
Excessive water usage eligible for an adjustment must be at least two times greater than the average water usage for the 12 months immediately prior to the excessive usage.
Adjustments will be allowed once in a 36-month period.
Excessive usage must be from unintentional or unplanned events or situations. Filling of swimming pools, watering of lawns and plants, washing cars, for example, would not qualify for an adjustment.
In other business the council:
• approved a 3 percent salary increase for city employees.
• appointed Blair Glendenning as pool manager and Myles Greene as assistant manager for upcoming season.
• appointed Robbie Mason as public works supervisor. Under supervision of the city administrator, the public works supervisor would oversee all activities of the public works department including street, sewer, storm water, garbage, and water maintenance. Already a member of the city maintenance crew, Mason would be paid an additional $1 per hour to assume those duties.
• appointed Steve Trullinger to the Low Rent Housing Board and Jason Palmer as city attorney.
• tabled a request from Tara and Mark Steinbach to raise rabbits at their home. The council asked for clarification of details of the requests before taking action.
• approved an application for a CDBG grant to go toward sewer main and plant improvements.
• set the public hearing on the FY22 city budget for 12 p.m. Monday, March 29.
• learning of a pending lawsuit from Dustin Wiley concerning mowing invoices on his property.
• learned the city had received a grant of approximately $18,000 for two new city storm sirens. The grant would cover 35 percent of the cost and installation of the sirens.
• learned of a water leak in the vicinity of the old CGI location. The city has been unable to locate the source of the leak and will bring in a professional leak detector contractor to address the problem.
• approved a change of location liquor license application for Hy-Vee.
• heard an update from Jennifer Kellner of the Ringgold County Wellness Coalition on possibilities to increase a network of walking trails in the city.