Cities to pay more for police protection

By Marcie Klomp

A good group of citizens attended the Nov. 5 Lime Springs City Council meeting, which was held in the fire station due to Election Day being in the community center.

Council members learned the annual bill for police protection was going to raise. For the past few years, Lime Springs was charged $2.00 per capita. There are 500 residents of the town, give or take, which comes to $1,000 per year.

Council member Kevin Bill attended a meeting with the Board of Supervisors. He explained Sheriff Mike Miner’s proposal was to charge $10 per capita for the next year, which would cost Lime Springs $5,000. “The true cost [of police protection] is about $45.00 per house.”

Miner estimated the sheriff helps Chester five hours per week and Lime Springs eight hours per week. At that, it would cost Lime Springs $18,000 per year, much higher than $5,000.

He went on to say for the next year, the Sheriff’s Department will keep track of all expenses, including calls, travel time, etc. and repropose a payment plan in June or July.

Supervisor Don Burnikel, who attended the council meeting, added, “That’s not set in stone. We also talked about it Monday [at the supervisor meeting.”

• There were no written or oral complaints from a public hearing on the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) for water and sewer. Casey Mai from Upper Explorerland was on hand to read the application.

In brief, the CDBG will help pay for improvements at the wastewater treatment plant, to help bring it into compliance with state and federal regulations. Council unanimously voted on going forward.

• Nick Rissman of Howard County Engineer’s office updated council on the paving of A-23 from the city limits of Lime Springs to the city limits of Cresco. He reminded council he had been to a meeting in September where he said the paving would be paid from the Farm to Market account.

“Two weeks later, we found they put new restrictions on that. It meant we wouldn’t be able to do the work for one-and-a-half years,” he said.

He went on to say that during this same time, the board of supervisors was doing an urban renewal amendment where the county was looking at bridges, including the one at Lidtke Mill.

The supervisors decided to allow TIF (Tax Increment Financing) funds and use them for the paving of A-23. Since the work was coming to within two miles of the towns, a joint agreement was needed to complete the work.

Rissman also asked if council had made a decision on whether to have them pave into city limits. Payment could be worked out to be paid back, interest free, for up to 15 years.

He will bring four estimates to the next council meeting—1. from city limits to the dip at the bridge (about 725 feet from limits); 2. to the stop sign; 3. through the intersection; and 4. all the way to the stop sign at Willard St. (V-36).

• Fire Chief Tony Roberts reported he had lost a firefighter, Frank Engelhart, who had moved out of town. He added a FireFighter 1 class was scheduled for the end of December in Chester. He had three firefighters eligible to take the class—Tommy Roberts, Bill Mahr and Richard Nagele.

• A Silent Auction is being held through the month of November at the library.

• The rope lights are installed at the community center. An auxiliary member is needed for the board.

• Nothing new was reported from pool and park board.

• City Clerk Rhonda Klapperich announced the five entities (community center, fire department, pool, park and library) each raised about $625 from the concession stand at the ball field at Sweet Corn Days. The five groups need to begin budget preparations.

The City approved a two-year gambling license, which can be used by City organizations—such as Library Bingo or fund-raising raffles.

• City Engineer George Tekippe should have a permit to start the water main project on Howard St. within two weeks.

Mayor Barb Robinson explained the main was currently four-inches and it needed to be switched over to eight-inches, to accommodate the new LimeSprings Beef facility, along with the Travel Plaza.

The City will send out three-five bids and choose the lowest. Tekippe’s firm, Fehr Graham, will then bill the city according to how much “baby-sitting” of the contractor needs to be done. For trustworthy contractors the amount of time needed for supervision is obviously lower than contractors still proving their mettle.

The work will probably be done in the spring.

• Another water main project is on West Main. Robinson gave some background information, saying there originally was a four-inch main on the street. In the 1980s, when the street was cemented, an eight-inch main was laid, but none of the seven homes were hooked up to the larger main. It is the four-inch main that continues to break, so the City has to switch those homeowners over to the eight-inch.

• Public Works Director Casey Sebastian has replaced nine meters last month and removed seven that were unused. He continues to work on rotating the old ones out.

• Sebastian informed council there was about 20 tons of old sand left for the winter—four tons from last year. He is waiting to get more salt/sand until he is sure it isn’t going to rain.

• A company came and videotaped the sewer on East Main and found it full of tree roots. Sebastian said after cutting out the roots the camera went through. Now the city can see where some leaks may be occurring.

• Tara Schmoll began videotaping the Council meeting at this point. Russ Theis stood up and said he and others had planned to tape at the beginning of the meeting, but didn’t have a chance to announce it.

He said it will be available for viewing by anyone who wishes. He told the Herald after the meeting it would probably be on YouTube and/or Facebook and maybe a Lime Springs web page. Look for more information in the future.

• Schmoll and James Lieder have purchased the old Lime Springs Feed & Equipment building and wanted to see what council thought about them fixing up the second floor and warehouse area into living quarters. The main area houses their business, Main Street Soap Company.

He pointed out the building is zoned commercial. Council member Corey Gates wondered, “Would this be different than living above the bar?”

Member Gary Klomp mentioned, “It is zoned commercial for the tax base.”

Robinson agreed. “My thought is people have been living above the Herald and above the bars for as long as I’ve been in town. There shouldn’t be any reason that part of town is different from your place.”

Brian Johnson said the zoning board should address the issue.

Lieder said the couple was looking to remodel this winter. Schmoll added they’d like to move in next year.

Lieder also asked if they could have 2-5 chickens on the property. He promised it would just be hens and no roosters, and they would have indoor/outdoor access.

Klomp noted chickens were allowed on properties in Rochester.

Robinson asked for 30 days to talk to the zoning committee.

• Building permits were issued to LimeSprings Beef and Jim Smith (for Corey Smith).

• The issue of cleaning sidewalks on Main Street was cleared up. Areas zoned commercial (Main Street businesses) can shovel their snow to the road, and it will be removed by city equipment.

• Johnson said he researched fines for ordinance infractions. “Elma takes care of their own ordinances. If residents disobey, they have a fine of $65, and it is a 25 percent increase for every time thereafter.”

The next meeting will be held Dec. 3 in the much warmer Community Center portion of the building! All meetings are open to the public and start at 7 p.m.

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