Council members Julie Egland and Wally Burns had their last city council meeting of their public service careers this week. Both members had chosen to not seek re-election this year, citing wishes to pursue other interests and give others a chance to get involved.
"It has been an honor to serve with you and you will be missed," Storm Lake Mayor John Kruse said during a ceremony before Burns and Egland's last council meeting Monday.
Burns and Egland were presented with plaques thanking them for their years of service.
"Julie has been a member for eight years, four of which she has served on the Iowa League of Cities," Kruse said. "Wally has served 12 years and for several years served as my pro tem."
The Council passed a resolution honoring both members for their years of public service.
"The city staff would also like to say thank you for your support and we wish you luck in the future,"City Administrator Patti Moore said.
Mayor Kruse, along with the council, thanked the volunteer fire department for the service during the major fire last week. "We owe a thank you to not only the people who fought the fire but the city staff who assisted in the fight as well as the employers of the firefighters, who allowed the men to stay on scene, and to those in the community who brought food and beverages for the firefighters," Kruse said.
* In other council news, 12 outside agencies came in this week to request city funds, for a total of $260,060.
Community Education had the highest request, of $76,000, and the Buena Vista Historical Society with the lowest request of $3,000.
The Buena Vista Genealogical Society made their first visit to the council to requested $8,000 to go towards a microfilm reader/printer. The Society currently has a reader but cannot print what is found on film.
"The printer would be a big asset to us," Janice Danielson said. "We have no way of printing off the film. We aren't looking into a new one, but a refurbished one would be great."
Gingerbread House day care also made their first request to the council for $10,000 to help the facility cover costs with the minimal wage increase.
According to Sandy Johnson, the raise in minimal wage has caused the rates that the facility charges to parents to be raised. "The Board of Directors have been looking for funds and they will have a lot of hard decisions ahead of them to keep the doors open," Johnson added.
Witter Gallery Director Ron Stevenson and Co-President Barb Patten approached the board to request $25,000 to go towards a restoration project of the Gallery's permanent collection of Ella Witter and Dorothy Skewis artworks.
"The facility storage area wasn't built with long term use in mind," Stevenson said. "The cold weather in winter and humidity in the spring has caused part of the paintings to flake and the paper to dry out and we need to hire people to come to restore the work so that the art can be enjoyed for another 35 years."
Marilyn Monson of the Chamber requested $10,000 over the next three years for Santa's Castle. The funds along with grants would be raised to make Santa's Castle disability-accessible with an elevator. According to Monson, the project is being joined by Faith, Hope & Charity and the Genesis Development Project to help provide acess.
Other agencies to request funds include CAASA for $10,000, the Storm Lake Convention and Visitor's Bureau for $30,000, RIDES for $15,000, SLADC for $55,000, SLADC Spec Building for $12,360 and Upper Des Moines Opportunity $5,700.
* The City Council passed the new property maintenance code. The code was passed in three separate sections. The first part of the maintenance code passed unanimously 5-0. However the other two parts pertaining to the residential driveways and peeling paint passed 3-2 with both Burns and Egland voting against.
"This has been something that has taken several years," Mayor Kruse said. "I believe that somewhere down the line we will have to look at possibly making changes to this but that remains to be seen."
As previously reported, City Clerk Justin Yarosevich stated that there will be programs to help inform the public about the changes.
"We are working on brochures and utility mailings to get out the information," Yarosevich stated. "We will work with property owners and tenants in the case of rental properties and for those who do not comply we will have these options."
Yarosevich added that the ordinance will be ran in the newspaper as soon as the information can be prepared.
Part of the ordinance will not go into effect until after the current snow ban is lifted, generaly during early April, to help eliminate confusion on issues such parking in front yards.
* New council members Davild Walker and Steven O'Bannon were sworn into office by the Mayor.