SL council denies Truesdale plea for water negotiation

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Storm Lake City Council has denied the City of Truesdale a requested waiver that would have allowed the small community to negotiate with Iowa Lake Regional Water as a possible provider of water.

Iowa Lakes Regional Water and the City of Storm Lake have an agreement that the water provider will not run water line inside a two-mile radius of Storm Lake.

Truesdale's 12-year water pact with Storm Lake recently ran out, and the town wants to negotiate with both Iowa Lakes and Storm Lake in hopes of getting the best deal in water prices for its citizens.

Attorney John Murray has said that the Truesdale council feels it could prevail in court, but had hoped the matter could be handled without litigation.

Storm Lake's attorney, Paul Havens, spoke against allowing the waiver.

"We've made provisions to make sure that we could meet their needs with our treatment plant and well fields," Havens said. The city fears that if Truesdale leaves the system, costs could go up for other customers.

Mayor Jon Kruse added that water lines were set up to help with fire protection in the area.

Council Member Julie Egland said she has heard concerns about Iowa Lakes Regional Water.

"I've had some people voice concern about the rates that are used," Egland said. "I feel that we have been fair."

According to City Administrator Patti Moore, the current contract has been extended and also answered a question on Storm Lake's raise rate.

"For Truesdale we never go over 150 percent of the Storm Lake rate but when the Storm Lake rate rises so does Truesdale and other people's as well."

The City Council voted to deny the City of Truesdale their request.

In other council news, a development deal with the Colby Development was approved by the council. The development will create a new 21 lot subdivision on Spooner Street.

Part of the agreement will have the City give the developer $2,500 per lot for installation and certification of infrastructure installation. Also the developer will be paid $1,000 per lot sold to a family meeting low-moderate income requirements after proof of such is provided by the developer.

Council member Denny Vaudt voiced concern about not having completed sidewalks through the subdivision.

"I just have a concern after the deal ends in five years that we will have sidewalks that lead to nowhere," Vaudt said. "Shouldn't we require them to just put them towards the end of the contract?"

According to Storm Lake Building Official Scott Olesen, the problem with requiring the developers to put in the sidewalks now could cause problems with development of the lots later on, with issues such as the grade of the property.

According to City Clerk Justin Yarosevich the contract doesn't release the developers from requiring sidewalks to be put in after the contract agreement is up.

City Attorney Paul Havens added that the contract could be redrafted if that was a concern but could cause a longer delay on development.

City Administrator Patti Moore added the required infrastructure cost has been a problem for development in Storm Lake.

"We've heard for a while that our high cost of infrastructure has prevented Storm Lake from seeing some subdivision development," Moore added.

The council approved the agreement adding they would like to voice concern to the developers about completion of sidewalks in the new subdivision.

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