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Council hopping, hearing numerous citizen concerns - Albia Newspapers: News

Council hopping, hearing numerous citizen concerns

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Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 10:34 am


Staff Writer

The City Council endured almost an hour’s worth of public comment on varying issues to start their meeting on Monday. Larry Anderson addressed the council about his displeasure with the road work done to the street outside his home on 13th Street. He requested of the Council permission to remove the gravel from the side of the road and replace it with dirt, claiming the gravel reduced his property value. The council denied his request in a 3-2 decision under the grounds that the gravel is there to increase the lifespan of the newly laid asphalt.

George Collins asked that the council look into putting no parking signs near his home on S 5th St. He was afraid that the vehicles parked on the street might encumber emergency vehicles from passing by his home. Police Chief Jay Andrews will look into the issue and determine the best course of action.

Dean Bettis was present on behalf of the renters of his Second Street property. The renters wrote a letter regarding a neighboring property that runs a generator all day and all night. They also provided a description of the foul smelling odor that comes from the yard of the neighboring property. City Attorney Bob Breckenridge reassured Bettis that the city is engaged in a court dispute with the owner of the property and is trying to get the house removed. There was nothing else that the city could do at the moment.

Mike Fisher addressed the council and the mayor regarding his disgust with how the city has handled several car and property abatements. He claimed that the city had treated him unfairly, imposing stricter rules on him than others. Police Chief Andrews assured Fisher that the city tackles every abatement with the same procedure. Fisher grew agitated and Mayor Richard Clark had to end the discussion with the gavel.

Finally getting to issues on the agenda, the council heard from Mike Lawrence regarding a broken door on Lawrence’s airplane hangar at the Albia Municipal Airport. In January of 2016, a city snowplow ran into the corner of the hangar, damaging the building and the door. The city then contracted a company out of Urbandale to repair the door. Since the repair of the door, Lawrence has left the hangar untouched, and the door no longer works.

Councilman Brian Bell told Lawrence that both he and Lawrence were present for the repair of the door and that everyone present, including the repair company, were pleased with the repairs. Lawrence has no memory of being there, and claims that the city has a responsibility to repair the door, having done an insufficient job the first time. The council denied his request, believing that they have fulfilled their responsibility on the issue.

Beth Shank addressed the council requesting action be taken to reduce speeding on Spruce Lane. Spruce Lane has two large hills, making it easy to speed from both directions. Shank spoke on behalf of the many parents of young children on the street. She wants to make the street safer and prevent injuries to the children of the neighborhood.

The council discussed several ideas, such as speed bumps, stop signs, and traffic cameras. Ultimately, they decided to install temporary stop signs at the intersection of Spruce Lane and Parkview Drive to gauge whether the signs will help the situation.

The council approved an Inter-Fund Loan Resolution to pay for the new street sweeper. The resolution has the city borrowing from several city bodies such as the library, the cemetery, and the airport. The loans first have to be approved by the individual boards for those bodies before the council can move forward. The council also appointed Brian Bell to the Oakview Cemetery Board and approved a beer and liquor permit for Casa Agave

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