I attended my first City Council Meeting on February 5, 2020. It was an interesting meeting. As I’m hoping to get more involved in the city and because I’ve recently joined the Sigourney Area Development Corporation (SADC) Board, this seems like a great way to do it.
Below are some brief notes I took. Update: The City Council Meeting Minutes were published in the Sigourney News-Review on February 19.
City Council Agenda Items
- Approval of a Consent Agenda (mostly finance items)
- Property Tax Levy: There was a public hearing on the max property tax levy
- Budget Hearing: There’s a budget hearing scheduled for March 4 2020
- Traffic Congestion: There is traffic congestion around the Sigourney Public School. They’re hoping to put up signage making the area one-way but more work is needed.
- 121 E Marion Street: This building has collapsed and there’s a concern about asbestos. The city is trying to obtain the title as an abandoned building.
- Pool Staff: They’re hiring staff for the 2020 Pool Season at the city pool.
- Water/Sewer: There is a watermain project that will be put in the paper for a 30 day notice period and a public hearing March 18.
- 216 W Elm: This property is is owned by the Department of Agriculture, they paid their sewer/water bills but not the mowing bills, so they had a motion to decertify the levy for the amount that was paid.
- Police/Public Safety: They approved hiring of a Reserve Police Officer (he’s already ILEA certified) to cover the time that one of their officers is away, approved his carrying weapons as needed, and approved a change to the employee manual that reflects that instead of doing 40 hour shifts they’re now doing 64 hours Week 1 and 24 hours Week 2 (works out to 84 hours, with 4 hours overtime) until they’re fully staffed again.
- Facade Improvement: The City Council plans to have an inspector from Iowa Economic Development come to the Sigourney Town Square and assess whether any of the buildings qualify for Catalyst Grants. Part of that will involve a luncheon with someone from SADC.
- Check Payment: The city was having issues with checks being returned for being NSF (Insufficient Funds) – so they’ve changed the policy so that once you bounce a check you can’t give the city another check for 12 months.
- Human Resources: The city is looking at spending $2500 on a law firm’s review of the city employee handbook to make sure they’re in compliance with federal laws relating to military service
Finally, during the Public Input at the end of the meeting I had the opportunity to ask the Council about their new website. Currently the City Council Meeting Minutes, Agendas, and Ordinances aren’t available to the public. They explained they are aware and the fix is in progress.
I’m looking forward to it!
I’m hoping that going to more City Council Meetings will help me develop an appreciation for what happens in the city.