If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Ringgold County Deputy Sheriff Chad Hunt urged the Mount Ayr City Council Monday evening to get a Rental Housing Program done and in place. Hunt relayed to the council that a large number of calls to the sheriff’s department are made to such housing where problems with drugs, safety of children, domestic abuse and other disturbances are a regular occurrence. A Rental Housing Program would set standards of living for rental properties, forcing landlords to upgrade their properties for safety and atheistic reasons.
City council member Brad Elliott called it a safety issue and insuring safety of residents, especially children, should be the top priority of the council.
City Superintendent Brent Wise presented the council with a number of Rental Housing Programs from other communities in Iowa. They would provide a road map for Mount Ayr developing their own program. Wise said improving properties to meet basic standards would increase property values in the area. He estimated it would take four years to work through all the properties that would need to be addressed.
The city is in the process of hiring an employee to oversee the program and provide inspections to determine which properties need to be addressed. “We have a shortage of quality housing here,” said Wise. “This would help the quality and quantity of good housing. We can’t keep the status quo.”
Elliott made a motion to move forward to develop a program and it passed unanimously.
Ball diamond damage
The council was updated on damage done to the ball diamonds at Judge Lewis Park when the adult slow pitch league held games while the fields were still wet.
Wise said thousands of dollars of damage was done as the fields will need to replenish their Redfield Infield topping as the current topping was destroyed when mixed with the clay underlayment when played on when wet.
Wise said he was disappointed with what was done and that the league needs some structure.
“Somebody needs to be in charge and say when it is OK to play,” said Wise.
Council member Elliott said there are many issues with the ball fields at the park, especially parking along the highway which is a safety issue.
He also commented that new concession stands, etc. need to be constructed.
Elliott said he would like to see all the ball field issues bundled together and see if there is something that can’t be done.
Horse carriage rides
The council determined that no special permits were needed by Brett Taylor to offer horse carriage rides around town.
Wise asked the council to consider changing the Zoning Ordinance to make it more equitable.
For example, currently you can use steel siding on a house but a garage next to that house can not use steel siding.
The council voted to approve a $300,000 Downtown Housing Grant to Matt Hudson for rehabilitation work he is doing on the IOOF building just off the square. When finished, the building will offer retail fronts on the ground floor and apartments upstairs.
• The council voted to participate in the Iowa League of Cities & Healthiest State Initative “Cities Walk Challenge.”
In the program cities across Iowa will be pitted against each other to see who can hold the largest registered community wide walk to encourage healthy habits and lifestyles.
• Renewed the Class C Retail Alcohol License for El Vaquero Mexican Restaurant.
• Added the new deputy clerk to city bank accounts and removed the previous clerk.
• Tabled until September approval to tear down property at 303 West Van Buren. The council learned it would cost between $12,000 to $15,000 to tear it down.