Mayor sets ground rules at council meeting

By Marcie Klomp

With some residents unfamiliar with council proceedings, Mayor Barb Robinson started the Lime Springs Council meeting off with rules regarding meetings. She explained the agenda is posted 24 hours in advance. The first item on the agenda is to approve the agenda. “Then the order is done. Once council makes a ruling, then we do not go back.” She did say the agenda could be amended, but not after it was approved.

She also spoke on social media. “We’ve (city) been getting blasted. I have turned it over to my personal attorney for review. Anything that is a threat is criminal. Slander and libel or defamation of character is civil.”

Fire Department/Fire Board

• Robinson read the Proclamation of Open Burning Prohibited, which was issued on July 16. The proclamation does not include recreational fires, which can still be burned if supervised. But the Lime Springs ordinance of having a fire 50 feet from any structure must be maintained. Fireworks are still permitted if a permit was issued by the county.

• Robinson also stated the firefighter physicals the men received did not comply with Workmen’s Comp requirements and must be done correctly.

• She reserved 12 slots for Lime Springs firefighters in a grain bin rescue training through NICC. The class is being offered free of charge for the men. The class is being paid by the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and fund-raisning. It is to be held Oct. 29, not conducive for members of the fire department who double as farmers, but the training is needed considering the number of ag-related businesses in the area.

• Fire Chief Tony Roberts mentioned members were washing streets for Sweet Corn Days.

• He noted, “We got rid of the cube van at LeRoy [Behr Iron and Metal] for $1,000. Hopefully it will pay for fixing the air conditioning unit in the new truck.”

• Roberts will look into prices on a thermal imager before the next Fire Board meeting on Aug. 28.

Library

No report was given.

Community Center

• Carla Moser advised the council, “We are advertising for a new cleaning person due to our previous one (Nicole Klomp) leaving for college.”

• She noted the board used the Keep Iowa Beautiful grant of $1,500 to landscape in front of the community center.

Park and Pool

• Board president Carla Moser had a request from Assistant Manager Nicole Klomp, for a raise after Manager Jake Thomas left for college. She was given a 75¢ raise.

• Audience member Russ Theis asked, “What does the pool cost?” Moser answered for 2011-2012 the pool’s budget was $4,000, which it spent. It also had fund-raisers, grants, income and donations to keep it open. “For example, the roof was completely paid for with a grant,” she explained.

She mentioned last year the pool might have been patronized more since the water temperature was evenly between 78-82 degrees. “This year there were more leaks.”

SALC

Board member Carla Moser mentioned Spring Ahead Learning Center was having a food stand at Brown Park on Saturday of Sweet Corn Days.

Maintenance

• Clerk Moser explained Dusty’s Tree Service was done with round one of maintaining trees. He took down the most dangerous boulevard trees. “The next round is trimming,” stated council member Corey Gates.

• Mayor Robinson announced there was one bid for the dump truck at $750. The City legally has to get the best price it can for equipment, so the maintenance person, Casey Sebastian, will find what he can get to scrap it.

• Sebastian told the council a composite sampler is a necessity according to the DNR. The sampler can take a sample every 30 seconds or every 10 minutes in a 24-hour period depending on what it is set at. It samples the water at the sewer plant.

Right now, Sebastian manually takes a sample once every week. It doesn’t make for a very accurate reading. The sampler costs around $6,000, which the council authorized him to purchase.

By having a good reading, the new beef plant will have a better idea what it needs to do to comply with what the town can handle.

• Maintenance, fire department, city clerk and mayor pro tem will be given keys to all city buildings, including the library.

• A resident requested putting in a meter outside his house for watering plants and trees. The meter would only be charged for water usage—not sewer.

If a meter was allowed for one person, it would be allowed for everyone, which could cause problems. Council denied the request, but is looking into an alternative.

Sebastian offered that Cresco has an overhead waterer, where residents can get water for a small fee, such as 25¢ for 30 seconds in a tank. He said the cost would be just a couple hundred dollars to get one in Lime Springs.

Financial Report

• Moser stated she was frustrated with the collection agency the city is using for delinquent water bills. In over a year, it has only collected on one bill. She said, “The amount of money people owe could probably pay for the sampler (as mentioned above).”

Council authorized her to assess one of the bills to property taxes. The others will be looked at soon.

• Moser suggested moving the payment box, currently located outside the library, to City Hall. She said she has had problems with residents who got shut off. They are told to pay by a certain time, and they claim they did . . . in the payment box. The clerk picks up mail right away in the morning and doesn’t check the box after that. The box will be moved. Then patrons will need to pay the clerk directly on shut-off days.

Other issues

• A building permit was approved, with an update, for Dan Bissen, for fixing his roof slope.

• A liquor license was approved for Lime Springs Community Club.

• The alley south of West Main, Main Street, East Main, Sage Street and West Main Street were closed on various days for Sweet Corn Days.

• A letter will be sent to the owner of a motor home that is housing a family of raccoons in south Lime Springs to remove the vehicle.

• It was noted complaint letters can be picked up and dropped off at City Hall, but the city clerk has no say in what the council decides and cannot influence the council. She just hands out the complaint letters.

• The next council meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 7:00 p.m.

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