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City Council Meeting

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Monday, June 23, 2014

by Kolton Hewlett

The Leon City Council met for their regular meeting on Monday, June 23, at 7:00pm in the council chambers. City Clerk Angie Blades reported that they were working on the fiscal year-end, the budget, and reconciling accounts payable. She also reported that they are having a high school student helping in City Hall and the library this summer through the Iowa Works program. Wages and liabilities are covered by Iowa Works.

Chief of Police Ron Zeiss stated that he would like to get something in the paper about the curfew for minors, as there are many minors roaming the city after curfew. The Clerk of Court is going paperless, so he is working with administrative assistant Trish Evians on new procedures.

Street Superintendent Doyle South reported that they are working on patching up the road in front of the post office. They will start blading streets next month. Water/Wastewater Superintendent Jr. Jennings provided that they are continuing to work with the Decatur County Hospital for communication equipment on the water tower.

The City Manager from Coralville met with a group of business owners, council members, and chamber representatives last week to discuss the benefits of hiring a city administrator in Leon.

Based on the advice of City Attorney Pat Greenwood, the Council decided to no longer waive assessments on abatements. Council members highlighted that when you waive assessments, you are using public funds to benefit and individual. It was explained that City Ordinances can be changed at any time, so future Councils could decide to change that policy someday.

The City approved a farm lease with the Leon Rodeo Association to harvest hay on public property to be used at the rodeo.

There was discussion regarding the city-owned property north of the hospital. Greenwood highlighted that in previous minutes it was noted that the Council would consider an agreement with the Rodeo Committee trading the six acres closest to the fairgrounds with ground north of the cemetery. It was also discussed that the Rodeo Association is now a non-profit 5013(c) organization, so will no longer be subject to property taxes. The City has received a letter from another party also interested in purchasing the property.

It was approved for the Fire Department to attend the annual Fire Convention, paid for through their expendable trust account. The Fire Department raises money for this all year, and this opportunity will provide them with good training and networking opportunities.

Library Trustees Mary Johnson, Marcia Stephens, and Kolton Hewlett were present to request that the Council allow the library to carry over some of their unused budget for next year. They are planning on using the money to help with their endeavors towards automation and technology.

Clerk Blades is working with contractors to solve some of the IT issues with networking and technology. Possible updates to the current website were discussed.

The council accepted the resignation of Asst. Police Chief Andy Walker. The Council discussed different options for filling the position. In the past, the City has funded officers to attend the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) at the cost of $13,000, contingent that they work for the City for three years. Up to this point, the City has not been in successful in keeping an officer for the term of the contract. The Council decided to advertise the position with the requirements that the applicant be ILEA certified. The agreed to utilize reserve officers until a decision is made.

Job descriptions for City employees have been reviewed and updated, and some realignments have been put into effect. The City maintenance worker and the refuse department now answers directly to the City Clerk and Mayor.