Council approves flood plain ordinance—Will save residents money on insurance premiums

Nobody, including council members Brian Johnson, Roger Lepa, City Clerk Carla Moser, Mayor Barb Robinson, Kevin Bill, Corey Gates and Gary Klomp, enjoyed story hour. The flood plain ordinance took 45 minutes to read at the August 2 Council meeting.

“Welcome to story hour,” Mayor Barb Robinson said at the Lime Springs Council meeting before she and clerk Carla Moser read 17 pages of an ordinance originating from FEMA and DNR.

The August 2 meeting was put on hold for 45 minutes as the duo took turns reading. (For everyone’s information, they read at the rate of two-and-a-half minutes per page!)

Robinson explained ordinances needed to be read in open session so the public has a chance to hear it and should be read at three consecutive meetings. For this ordinance, the council decided to wave the last two readings.

In a nutshell, the ordinance is an update on the flood plain ordinance which requires the city to maintain good standards so residents in the flood plain will receive a cheaper rate for flood insurance.

Fire Department

Fire Chief Tony Roberts said parts were being ordered for the pumper.

He added streets would be washed for Sweet Corn Days on Tuesday. “The Fire Department has the food stand on Friday night from start to finish.” The PPFLC (Pool, Parks, Fire Department, Library and Community Center organizations) are manning the Sweet Corn Days Softball Tournament food stand together and sharing the profits.

Mayor Robinson said she would donate her mayor’s wages to the PPFLC to purchase supplies. (Robinson has donated her paycheck each month since she started.)

“We cut up two cars at the last meeting and played with the Jaws of Life again. It was a good training,” he said.

He was sorry to say he was losing a very active firefighter in Tary Kolek, who was moving. Also, Cole Lewis will be going to school in Cedar Rapids and will no longer be a member.


Deputy Maintenance Man James Kitchen spoke in the absence of Dennis “Navajo” Grabau, who just had surgery. He explained a water main broke on Saturday, July 30. “It was nice to have a valve that worked to shut the water off,” he commented.

In other business, he said, “The town is held together with a band-aid. I’d like to take the council around to the sewer plant and the bridge by (Cheryl) Davis’ house. I’d like to get some of these things off my conscienceand put it on your conscience.




He observed that in the two lagoons, there was one aerator each, when three would be a better number.

The council could not go on a tour that evening because the meeting lasted until past 9:30 p.m., but it plans to tour the city utilities in the near future.


There was no representative from the Library Board.

Community Center

Dorene Burnikel stated, “We are thinking of cementing in front of the Community Center.”

Dale Schwade is willing to help get donations to help pay for the $5,000-6,000 project. Burnikel figured the board would solicit donations and possibly use a grant to pay for about $2,000 of the project. “Dale thought we’d be able to park six to seven cars (in front of the flag poles).”

Jill Johnson added, “We are not asking the City for any money, just permission to do the project.”

Burnikel asked Kitchen about the drains and he thought cementing the area would be an asset and not plug up the drain as in years past.

Pool & Parks

Moser said the pool would be closing for the season on Sweet Corn Sunday, August 14. She was concerned about the experience of the guards who would be returning next year. “All of the older guards say they are not returning, and the rest of the guards are new. We don’t really have anyone in-between. That might be a problem next year.”

She said the pool employees had a fund-raiser a two weekends ago and made about $500.00.

A raffle is being held over Sweet Corn weekend with top prize being a pool party in 2012.

Heather Knutson asked about flooding the tennis court for ice skating during the winter. “I think lots of people would use it. I’ve been told it used to be used for ice skating.” She offered her and daughter Caitlyn’s labor for shoveling off the snow. All council members agreed it was a good idea.


Spring Ahead Learning Center is having the food stand at Brown Park on Saturday afternoon rather than the Cub Scouts. They will also have a stand on Sunday. The group is still trying to raise $20,000 for outfitting the center. A total of $110,000 has already been raised.

Kitchen was at the last meeting and added groundbreaking was now planned for spring.

Other Business

• In other business, nobody had any written or oral comments to make on the budget amendment, which was needed to authorize payment of $44,570.00 for painting the water tower.

• The council voted to have City Clerk Moser be on the Upper Explorerland Regional Housing Board since Larry Gates resigned from the board. Robinson will be the alternative.

• The council denied a request from Seneca to require all citizens to not put in a well on their property due to possible groundwater problems.

• Moser said a letter was sent to the owner of Tank & Tummy about cleaning up the junk and junk tires around the business. “The owner called, arguing she didn’t have to clean them up since it is private property.”

The Council disagreed and authorized Moser to send a letter requiring the clean-up or else the City would do it and charge the owner.

• Kitchen spoke on behalf of the Fish & Game Club. He announced the club was thinking of getting city water from the Travel Plaza in the future and wondered if the City would be open to discussion. There were no negative commets, so as it stands when Fish & Game is ready, the council will probably vote yes.

• David Boysen, who lives in the former Loyal Hebrink home, had a written complaint against his neighbor, Gary Weyers. “Gary has a cattle fence in the back yard. I’d like him to put up a wood fence along the property line.”

Another complaint was the smell of dog manure. Councilman Roger Lepa looked at Weyers apologetically, “It smells really bad. It was bad, and I’m a dog lover.”

Boysen contended, “We can’t sit on the deck (because of the smell).” The couple are trying to sell the house and he suggested the unkempt yard next door is part of the reason for it not selling.

Councilman Kevin Bill interjected, “We, as a council, can’t make him put up a fence.”

Robinson looked up the ordinance, and there is nothing regarding pet manure smells.

Weyers responded, “The (manure) needs picked up. As far as the fence goes, I could go from the north side and when the vegetables are gone I’d go to the east side.” He also offered to throw down some lime to help with the smell.

Councilman Brian Johnson said, “It’s really between the two of them.”

• In regards to official complaints, it was announced an official complaint had to be put on the City’s complaint form and signed.

Another official complaint concerned a dog issue, and a letter will be sent to the pet owner.

• Weyers then addressed the council about being able to put up a 400 watt, 20-ft. tall wind turbine. All the neighbors except two (Boysen being one) agreed to the addition to his property.

Robinson learned Cresco just installed an ordinance agains turbines unless they are on three acres of property because of noise and unsightliness.

Weyers argued that by allowing him a wind turbine “it would show we’re a progressive community.” The issue will be addressed again at the next council meeting.

• Dennis Rice wants to purchase rock to put on East Howard Street if the City would do the work in putting it down. It was stated the abandoned road (on the very south edge of Lime Springs-straight off B.J.’s Repair) would take more work to get it back in condition.

Bill offered to talk to the county engineer about having it worked up like the Travel Plaza gravel was worked on this spring.

• The Council went into closed session. Upon returning to open session a motion was made and passed to send an insurance claim for audit period of three years.

• Wanda Knutson asked about purchasing the five big street lights that are basically scrap. She offered to pay what they would be worth at LeRoy Iron. The council will have to research the sale of City property and see if it needs to go out for bids. A decision will be made at the next meeting on September 6.


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