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City to move forward with projects

Sewer system renovation, a water/sewer warranty program and housing rehabilitation were among items on the agenda of the Mount Ayr city council Monday, February 21.
Sewer system
City superintendent Brent Wise reviewed with the council that the city had been awarded $300,000 from the Iowa Finance Authority’s Wastewater and Drinking Water Transmission Financial Assistance program and had secured a $380,000 loan from the State Revolving Fund to cover costs of the estimated $691,000 project.
With funding in place, the council gave the go-ahead for engineers at Garden and Associates to begin the planning stages and oversee bid letting for the sewer renovation project, which will include upgrades and repairs to existing infrastructure as well as improvements at the wastewater treatment plant.
Warranty program
Along with the discussion on the sewer project, the council heard a presentation from Ashley Shiwarski representing the National League of Cities (NCL) concerning a service warranty program the organization provides.
The entirely voluntary program offers three options for property owners to warranty external water service lines, external sewer service lines, and internal water and sewer lines on their properties.
Owners may choose any or all of the warranty options at a monthly cost for each option.
The council agreed to allow NCL to contact city patrons to offer the warranty service.
Housing rehab
Jeremy Rounds with the Southern Iowa Council of Governments attended Monday’s meeting to finalize documentation for the city’s latest housing rehabilitation program.
Rounds said the city had been approved for a Community Development Block grant of up to $254,000 to fund the project.
He reported this year’s program will be somewhat different from past rehab programs in that it covers the hard costs of external improvements rather than interior renovations.
Only owner-occupied structures are eligible for up to $24,999 in project costs.
Rounds added another $7,000 per project could be used toward hazard reductions on the properties.
Other business
In other business, the council:
• set the public hearing on the FY23 city budget for March 21.
• approved the agreement with Lockridge to install broadband antennas on the city water towers in return for no cost Internet service to a handful of city buildings.
• approved an agreement with Cunning Co. to purchase a parcel of land to extend a portion of Fillmore Street south of City State Bank. Cost of the parcel was $5,000.
• set a work session for February 28 with Ringgold County deputy Chad Hunt to form a plan to address property nuisance violations.
• discussed a potential increase in costs to haul the city’s recycling to the Creston Waste Management facility. The council took no action on the rate increase notice.


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