The Blakesburg Historical Preservation Society once again has a home. The Blakesburg City Council this week unanimously approved a 25-year lease of the original post office to BHPS for use as a museum.
The council also approved renewal of the $10,000 USDA matching grant. In a dispute with BHPS, the previous city administration ousted the organization from the city-owned building they had been using as a museum and withdrew the grant in mid-2011. Within the next few days, talks are planned to commence between the city and BHPS on fundraising ideas for match money.
Sewer repair and improvements
The council approved the $499,525 contract with Visu-Sewer.Inc. of Pewaukee, Wis., for sanitary sewer repair and improvements. Videotaping is scheduled to begin this winter with dirt work to begin in the spring. A $450 revenue sharing loan plus a $50,000 Community Development Block Grant will pay for the sewer work.
Meanwhile, Blakesburg Mayor Jason Meyers reported that repair and renovation of the city water tower is completed by Maguire Iron of Sioux Falls, S.D., at a cost of nearly $40,000. The council approved a 12-month payment plan of $2,000 per month including 8 percent interest. Also approved was shifting money out of the water and sewer accounts with the money repaid to those accounts on a three-year schedule beginning upon completion of payments to Maguire Iron, Inc. According to Meyers, the water tower project was a complete surprise to the current council. Contracted by the previous administration, the project had been pending for several years but no funding plans had been made.
In other business the council discussed:
• changing the current city ordnance designating homeowner responsibility for the sewer lines from curb to house. First reading of the new ordnance of shared city/homeowner responsibility will be read at the next meeting.
• a change in the open burning ordnance of yard waste to include requiring a permit and specified spring and fall dates from March 15 to April 30 and Sept. 15 to Oct. 30. First reading of the ordnance is planned for the next meeting.