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
Please enter your email and we will send your username and password to you.
A catalyst grant application was reviewed at the Tuesday, January 2 meeting of the Mount Ayr city council. [The meeting marked the first by newly elected council members Jessica Murphy and Mike Wik.]
City council members heard from Chad Hunt who submitted an application for a community catalyst building remediation grant. He is requesting $100,000 to save the integrity of a building located at 110 E. Madison Street in the downtown area of Mount Ayr.
Hunt recently acquired the property through a county tax sale and plans to renovate the space, which would include a one-bedroom apartment.
The grant would be used to replace windows and ensure the building is structurally sound. While Hunt owns half of the building, the other half is owned by another individual, and the property is adjacent to another building at 112 1/2 E. Madison Street that the city is working towards condemning as the roof is falling in.
Since this is a state level grant, the city would need to invest a minimum of 10% or $10,000 towards the project, plus any in-kind work.
Council member Mike Wik asked “how much is the pre-application?”
City Administrator Brent Wise explained the grant application process would cost the city 1% of the total request made in the grant application, so they could expect to see a $1,000 cost for the pre-application. Jodie Geist will likely be working with Hunt as the grant writer.
“I know the budget is tight, is there any benefit to waiting a year,” asked council member Chandra Poore.
Council member Jessica Bishop questioned “If we proceed and get the pre-application in, and we don’t get approved, we can always re-apply next year, right?”
After considerable discussion, council member Bishop made a motion to move forward with the application process, and council member Mack Greene seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
The council received more bad news regarding garbage service. The offer to purchase the garbage truck in need of repairs dropped from a reported amount of $31,000 to $25,000. Other entities offered less or were not interested in buying it.
“I’m about ready to cut our losses,” stated council member Mack Greene, “Get rid of it…let’s go on.”
Additionally, Tom Christensen was not interested in taking over garbage service for Mount Ayr, and Waste Managment would likely charge the city more than the cost to operate the service in-house. The city charges $23.10 for garbage pick up currently, and Waste Management would likely charge $25-26 per can.
The council also learned that recycling costs the city more than garbage service, and that the city is not required to offer recycling. The county is ultimately required to take care of recycling.
After much discussion, council member Jessica Murphy made a motion to sell the garbage truck for a minimum of $25,000 and not fix it. The motion was seconded by Jessica Bishop, and passed unanimously.
The council approved several appointments at Monday’s meeting:
Amanda Cannon – city clerk (2 year term)
Chloe Saville – deputy city clerk (2 year term)
Amanda Cannon – city treasurer (2 year term)
WRD Landfill Council Representative – Mike Wik
Park board – Thad Streit (3 year term) – another member is yet to be named as Trevor Kaiser is going off the board.
Board of adjustment – Lucas Smith (5 year term)
Zoning Commission – Mike Shields (5 year term) two other members are yet to be named as Fay Howie and Mike Gilliland are going off the commission.
Mayor Steve Fetty also appointed two council liaisons to serve on various sub committees in the coming year.
In other business the council:
• approved a $66,393 request for payment as part of the CDBG (SWIPCO housing grant).
• approved a building permit submitted by Christi Smith for a new 28×34’ structure at 106 East Adams Street that will be utilized as a massage therapy business. The business will be situated on the corner lot across from Podium Ink.
• approved a resolution authorizing and approving a loan agreement of $165,000.00 with KS State Bank to pay for the purchase of a new 2024 garbage truck from the city’s garbage enterprise fund.
House File 718
Administrator Wise also updated the council on HF 718 noting that it will significantly impact the city budget going forward.
A summary of HF 718 put out by the Iowa League of Cities was shared with council members.
Additional information regarding HF 715 can be found in a related article.