Vehicle towed, owners object

Sheriff Mike Miner gives Council the agreement for law enforcement.

Sheriff Mike Miner gives Council the agreement for law enforcement.

By Marcie Klomp

Attorney Mark Anderson and husband Randy Anderson, representing Renae Anderson, asked Lime Springs Council to be reimbursed for a tow fee of $106.88 given to her after a vehicle was left in the street during snow removal, at the latest meeting on March 4.

Renae Anderson owns some transit vehicles and they were left on the street, making snow removal difficult. She was given a warning and the vehicle was towed after the next snowstorm, after neighbors signed a complaint letter.

Attorney Anderson questioned whether there was a commercial business on the East Main block. Mayor Barb Robinson responded, “It is zoned commercial. They (Main Street Soap Company) have a business in it. They also asked if they could turn it into a living area.” She added Johnson Car Wash is a business that is located across the street.

The mayor continued, “Every year, we put an ad in the paper that vehicles have to be moved so we can plow. The soap company came in because he could not keep his area clean for people to come purchase items from him with big piles of snow on either side of her trailer. We took a city complaint that the area was not being plowed.”

The city’s attorney, Kevin Schoeberl, stated, “You guys complied with terms of city code, especially with snow. I think the request before you is a waiver. They are asking for a waiver for the towing penalty. Then you run into problems in the future.”

Councilman Jim Miller pointed out, “If you waive this one, then you have to do it next time. So then you give them two warnings. So why have an ordinance?”

After hearing from both attorneys, council voted to not accept responsibility nor give a waiver.

• In other business, Howard County Sheriff Mike Miner brought the new contract for protection. The cost will be $10 per capita, starting July 1. That leaves Lime Springs owing about $5,000 compared to $1,000 in the past. It can be paid at once or quarterly. Miner also explained that hiring a deputy will be $37.89 per hour for the deputy and $8.30 for use of the patrol car including gas.

• Jason Passmore of Howard County Business and Tourism came before the council to get support through resolutions for Home Base Iowa (HBI) and Skilled Iowa.

“Home Base Iowa has a website to match veterans as they return from service with available jobs. We have a great quality of life. We have jobs. Why not come here? They want 10 percent to show support. This is non-binding.”

Howard County wants to be one of the first to get all their ducks in a row to become an HBI community.

In tandem with HBI is Skilled Iowa. Passmore explained this initiative, whose purpose is the same, but for the general public, came out a couple years ago. “We have a ton of medium skill jobs available.” Most workers in the area are low skill. “Lets get the 40 percent with low skills and trade them up and train them.”

Meetings regarding HBI, Skilled Iowa and Connect Iowa have been held in Cresco. He explained Connect Iowa is about broadband connectivity. Howard County’s connectivity is not good. “It’s one of the worst counties in the state of Iowa. We have a leg up because we have a superintendent who is the co-chair of the broadband committee.”

There are funds available to get connected, and this group wants Howard County to be at the front of the line.

Another big concern is housing. There isn’t much in Howard County, and if county leaders want to get people to work here, they have to have a place to live. Passmore reminded council, “You have 60 jobs coming your way.” The workers have to live somewhere.

Council then signed a letter of support.

• A resolution was passed regarding raising sewer and water rates. It will be effective July 1, 2014. Sewer rates will raise 20 percent for the sewer project, and water and sewer were each raising five percent for usage.

• Council discussed possibly closing the tree dump for the summer as the bridge will be out, and Public Works Director would have to travel seven miles on a detour to get to the dump.

• City credit cards will be looked at before the next council meeting.

• Storm sirens will be looked at before the next council meeting.

• The next meeting will be Tuesday, April 1 at 7 p.m.


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