City considers taping meetings, Facebook

Friday, January 20, 2012

Technology is where it's at and the City of Alta may soon be taking advantage of some new ways to get information to the public, it was discussed at the recent regular meeting.

New Mayor Ron Neulieb asked the city council what they think of video taping the meetings and broadcasting them on the city cable channel.

It is unsure of what the costs would be for equipment and it is not known what interest there is out there.

The meetings are always open to the public, it was pointed out, and would not cost the city any money or time if those interested would just come.

More research will be done to determine if taping the meetings is feasible.

Council member Pam Henderson brought up the possibility of adding the City of Alta to Facebook. Kathy Peterson has offered to keep up the site but has said that since she does not live in town, she is not always aware of events going on; keeping the site up to date would be important. It has been suggested that perhaps events called in to cable could be put on Facebook. This, too, will be discussed more.

Mayor Neulieb appointed the council members to committees:

* Streets- Ron Chapman, Brian Walsh

* Employees - Pam Henderson, Rob Hach

* Industry Promotion - Brian Walsh, Rob Hach

* Finance - Pam Henderson, Molly Elston

* Planning - Molly Elston, Brian Walsh

* Code Enforcement - Ron Chapman, Pam Henderson

In reference to the city code officer, Alta is currently serving with out one. The council members discussed making that position full-time. The council had discussed this issue in the past. As the council begins preparing their new budget, it will be reflected like that. An ad is already running for the position. The full-time employee will give some time to the street department.

Park Board member Bob Sampers shared that there are many improvements needed at the park and said a part-time person will be needed to complete the duties and some assistance of the street department will be needed.

Mayor Neulieb will attend the next park board meeting to discuss goals.

Fire Chief Denny Launderville requested that the city add a new officer's position of the fire department: EMS coordinator. He said the person would be responsible for EMS coordination and complete paperwork. The position would be administrative and have no authority and Launderville suggested the position pay $500 annually. He said the budget submitted last month included $500 for an EMS coordinator. Currently there are two members of the department now doing this work; Launderville will let them decide if the work will continue that way and the $500 be split or if one person will be responsible.

Marie Michelson appeared before the council during the open forum, saying she she made multiple calls to Alta Municipal Utilities during a recent power outage and her calls were never answered. The mayor said he would check into the matter.

Tom Lane also appeared with several complaints - dogs running loose in the trailer court, semi parking along Highway 7 near the Alta Country Store which restricts sight distance for vehicles entering the highway, and people running the stop signs at the north and south ends of Leander Street. these issues will be looked at.

Sheriff Gary Launderville told the council that two local businesses were cited for selling cigarettes to minors in November and have pled guilty and paid fines. He said the state also assesses a $300 civil penalty against each of the establishments, which can be retained by the city by making an application to the state; if no application is made the money will go to the state. If the businesses don't pay the penalty in the time allowed, they will lose their license to sell tobacco products for 14 days and will still have to pay the fine.

The council agreed to send in the application to allow the money to be retained.

Eric Deters of Kuehl and Payer was on hand to talk about the construction at the new waste station. Change orders were brought up and the council approved payment. Deters said the work is progressing and it is estimated it is 50 percent done.

In other business the council:

* agreed to continue supporting Northwest Iowa Corridor - which provides support to new and existing businesses in a variety of ways - at a cost of $3,750 each year for four years.

* agreed to support UDMO and Compass Pointe in the amounts of $1,200 and $780

The mayor made these appointments:

* Bruce Hinkeldey and Lyle Fast to five-year terms on the Planning and Zoning Commission, appointed Tom Huseman as city clerk, Brad Pedersen as street superintendent and John Murray as city attorney.