The Ottumwa Courier

January 15, 2014

Public hearings held about museum improvements

Courier correspondent

---- — BLAKESBURG — On Monday, two public hearings concerning museum improvements preceded the regular Blakesburg City Council meeting.

The council unanimously approved the Blakesburg Historical Preservation Society request to include soon-to-be-installed security bars in the Investment Repayment Schedule.

The second hearing regarding BHPS request to include attic insulation in the Investment Repayment Schedule and was approved 4-1 with Councilman Larry Howe voting no.

No public comment was made at either hearing. Both were approved on a 25-year schedule.

In regular session, the council set a public hearing for a garbage collection fee increase of $2 per month at 7 p.m. Feb. 11. Mayor Jason Meyers explained the reason for the proposed increase was because collections were “running behind." In answer to a resident’s question, Meyers said garbage collection fees will not be suspended even if the service is not used for a lengthy period of time. The city must pay a contracted fee to the garbage company whether or not an individual service is used, he said. The fee is always included in the water bill.

After long service as mayor pro tem, Bill Mitchell declined reappointment. Bill Hinshaw is the new mayor pro tem.

The council discussed appointment of a financial officer as was recommended in the last city audit. According to Meyers, some of the financial officer’s duties will include reviewing the payroll and all other monthly bills.

The council approved $25 per month payment. The mayor will appoint that person to one-year term of office.

Meyers announced appraisal of the museum building is scheduled Jan. 28 by Jim Kosman.

New council member Donna Thompson suggested the need for Community Development Committee. If anyone is interested in being part of a group aiming to help develop Blakesburg assets, contact Thompson. Out-of-town residents are very welcome.