The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

October 1, 2013

Millville in NE Iowa seeks to end city status


Mayor Larry Wilson, who has lived in town for seven years, added, "We had a public hearing at my kitchen table, and five or six people showed up. We've been talking about (disbanding) for some time."

Even though parts of the town are regularly swamped by the Turkey River, flooding episodes had nothing to do with the decision to unincorporate, he added, although the most recent flood caused the popular Millville Steakhouse to close.

The town coffers have some surpluses from taxes paid by the dozen property owners and from local-option and road-use taxes. With that money, officials plan to repair several short streets in town and to pay ahead for four years of garbage hauling by a private contractor. What's left will be donated to the public library and public school in Guttenberg, the nearest municipality.

After the paperwork is completed, Bittner will pack up the town's legal and historical documents and haul them to the Clayton County courthouse, where they will be stored in perpetuity. Bittner's husband, Dan, is a Millville native, and their two children were born as town residents.

"It's sad to see that there is not going to be a Millville, but the town will still be here," she said.

The community will become part of rural Clayton County, and it will be governed by county laws and officials.

Hankes said the decision to end Millville is bittersweet.

"It's yes and no. It's too hard to get anyone involved anymore. So many people have moved or died," he said. "But in a few more months, it'll all be over."

Although Millville normally would hold city elections Nov. 5 along with the rest of the state, because the town would cease to exist before anyone could take office in January, elections are moot.

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