City Notes: Mayor offers updates
This week’s City Notes could be titled “Mayor’s Tidbits,” as I want to give short updates on many of the things going on at City Hall.
• There has been much discussion lately on the municipal broadband proposal. The Broadband Commission has been working for several years on providing better service opportunities for our community.
By the end of this month, we should have a response from our consultant on a business plan to help determine the economic feasibility of such a project. If the commission, and ultimately the City Council, decides to move forward, the funding for this $12 million startup would be financed predominantly by revenue bonds rather than general obligation bonds.
What this means is that the bonds would be paid back by user fees, not general tax dollars. People would be able to sign up for one of several options offered for internet, phone and TV service.
Users could select which package is best for them, and then the fees they pay would pay for the service. For our community to be a successful city in the present and the future, access to high speed internet access is essential.
• I would like to offer congratulations to Park and Rec Director Steve Lindaman on his retirement at the end of this month. Steve has been with the Park Department for over 40 years, keeping our park facilities in great shape.
Much of Steve’s work is behind the scenes, but we’d like to thank him for his years of service and wish him well in his retirement. (I think he may be spending more time at one of our parks — Wildwood Golf Course).
We had over 40 applications for Steve’s position. The interview team met with 6 very qualified applicants, and will be announcing their selection in the next couple days.
• This past council meeting, the council had the first reading of an ordinance to allow for student representation on the Historic Preservation Commission. These students must reside in the Charles City Community School District and will be non-voting members on the commission.
The commission’s plan is to have a representative of each of the high school classes (grades 9 – 12). The commission felt that it was important to include students to give them a sense of the history of our town, but also to see their perspectives on what can be done to preserve that history.
• Last week City Hall received several calls about a strong odor from the Simply Essentials Plant. After visiting with the management of the factory, Administrator Steve Diers was able to determine that there was a complication with the facility where they send their waste products. Therefore, some of the trucks remained on site longer than they should.
Simply Essentials has found a new receiver and was able to move the trucks more quickly, which seemed to resolve the problem. We are often in conversation with Simply Essentials management about problems brought up by citizens and continue to work with them to find solutions.
• On Thursday I will be going to Des Moines for the Annual SMART Conference put on by the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The conference provides several sessions on economic development issues from “Mastering Your Community Pitch,” to “Electric Vehicle Support,” to “Workforce Attraction.”
Hopefully, after attending some of these breakout sessions, I will come back a little “smarter.”