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Thursday, June 12, 2014

by Kolton Hewlett

The Leon City Council met for their regular meeting on Thursday, June 12, at 7:00pm in the council chambers. The department heads gave operational reports of their departments. Clerk Blades updated that City Hall has been busy with the budget, property taxes, tobacco/cigarette permits, and monthly payroll.

The street department has been working on abatements, getting gravel pulled out of residential yards, and trying to keep up with the mowing. Water/Wastewater Superintendent Junior Jennings reported that they are hoping to get the cement patched up on Q Street and on the square in front of the post office by the first of July. They have also been working with the Decatur County Hospital on the possibility of placing an antenna on the water tower for Emergency Management communications.

Valley View apartments, recently purchased by Dripp, LLC, is currently operating with one water meter for the entire complex. The new owners are wanting to put in meters for each individual resident. This will require that an individual from each unit come to City Hall to make a deposit. Jennings has been working with them on this possibility.

Jennings also reported that there has been some rumors circulating about blue-green algae and sand fleas at the lake. The City Water Department and Decatur County Conservation Board have done testing and presently have no reason to believe that there are either.

There was a concern expressed to City Hall about their late payments policies. The resident had received both a late payment fee as well as a door hanger. The council discussed and reviewed the policies and agreed that all policies seemed to be sufficient.

Concerned members of the community presented a petition to the City Council—addressed to them as well as the Decatur County Board of Supervisors and the Fair Board—requesting that they remove, by fire or by truck, the piles of debris on the public property south of the fairgrounds and west of NW 13th Street (Benly Lou Drive). They expressed that this has been an ongoing problem for many years now, and, although they feel support every time they bring up their concern to all parties, nothing has ever been done to fix the problem.

Since the land is owned by Decatur County, they would need to work with the Board of Supervisors on the issue further. The City Council received a letter from the Fair Board stating that they would take the project on, contingent that the Fire Department be there to assist. Clerk Blades informed them that the Fire Department would be willing to stand by and supervise them in case something would go wrong, but that Fire Chief Doug Moffet was concerned with the volume of the piles of debris and also that there were tires and other non-burnable debris that would need to be removed before they could burn. The Council was fine with the fire department assisting so long as the tires and other debris were removed beforehand. They were advised to contact Fire Chief Moffet to see what actions needed to be taken moving forward.

A member of the community was present to request that the Council waive the assessments on the nuisance abatements on a home they had recently purchased. The citizen is planning on fixing the home up to make it livable again to rent out. This topic has been discussed previously by the council on multiple occasions. The council has been advised by City Attorney Pat Greenwood that the council no longer waive assessments for anybody. After much discussion on the matter, the council decided to individually consult with Greenwood again and have a decision at the next meeting.

The Leon Lions Club applied for a grant through the South Central Iowa Community Foundation (SCICF) to make repairs on the museum, with the understanding that the city could serve as the fiscal sponsor. Although originally resistant to take on the extra responsibility, the Council reviewed the information further and decided that they would take on this responsibility on this one occasion.