The Albia City Council discussed applying for a grant to complete a housing assessment during their Nov. 15 meeting.

Nichole Moore, Executive Director of Chariton Valley Planning and Development, called in to the meeting to talk about the opportunity. According to Moore the state of Iowa has just released new funding to help city’s complete housing development assessments. The city of Albia would be responsible for matching a $5,000 grant for the program if they decide to move forward with the project and receive a grant from the state.

Moore said housing assessments can help towns know what kind of housing stock they have including the number of rentals versus owned homes as well as any open lots the town has and the state of their housing stock, like homes in need of repair or rehab.

Moore said the assessment, which is completed through the Iowa State University Extension, can help town with updating their Planning and Zoning ordinances as well as help city’s as well as citizens them apply for grants, loans and other opportunities related to housing.

City Council members asked Moore to supply them with some more information about the program and how housing assessments are used before making a final decision. This extra round of funding must be applied for by Dec. 1. If the city decides not to move forward with a housing assessment at this time, but later wants to, Moore said funding would most likely be available in the future as well through the state’s normal yearly funding of the program.

The city council received one bid for repair work on the Albia City Hall sewer from Lathrop Farms for $4,900. The council approved the bid. This was the second time the council sought bids as they received no bids during the first search.

The council approved a new liquor license for Golf 22 which will be in the old Albia Brewing Company building on the Square.

The council approved referring a request for a conditional use permit to Planning and Zoning.

City attorney Bob Breckenridge told the council that the new code books being completed by Chariton Valley Planning and Development that they were expecting to receive for approval in December would be pushed back to mid January or the beginning of February due to staff being out for about a month due to a COVID-19 illness.

Breckenridge also told the council that the city now has title to the Max Hope property and should have the Summer Bills property very soon. He has also filed paperwork on the Stewart, Clark, Smith and Thomas properties that the city is pursuing.

Police Chief Brad Evinger spoke to the council about a change he was requesting in his ability to purchase a new Dodge Charger. The council previously approved the purchase, which will have 75 percent of the cost covered by a grant with a 25 percent match from the city. Evinger said his previously quoted price from Vaughn Automotive in Ottumwa of $27,996 had risen to $35,192. He said he found the same vehicle at Stew Hansen in Des Moines for $28,819 and was requesting to purchase that vehicle for the extra $823. The council indicated the change was fine.