The regular meeting of the Lowden City Council was called to order by Mayor Dan Hamdorf.  Council members present on roll call:  Galen Conrad, Chuck Ryan, Jim Olsen, Barry Hoffmeier.  Visitors:  Jay Hein, Jodie Snowbarger, Gene Hamdorf, Pat Kroemer, Josh Quillin, Olivia Guthrie, Clark Gordon, Terry LeDoux, Joe Crock, Colette Perry, Derrick Lange, Tim Malott, Rob Hunter, Sheryl Rice, Brad Schneider, Jan Olsen, Bill Norton, Judy Norton.

M/S Ryan, Conrad to approve the minutes of the 1/4/10 and 1/20/10 meetings with an addition on the 1/20/10 minutes –“City will budget $5000 for LEDCO as in past fiscal years.”   Ayes:  Conrad, Ryan, Olsen, Hoffmeier.

M/S Conrad, Hoffmeier to approve payment of the bills as presented.  Ayes:  Conrad, Ryan, Olsen, Hoffmeier.

Joe Crock, representing Little Home Learning Center, as well as Terry LeDoux, Colette Perry, and Sheryl Rice, USDA, addressed the council. Crock wanted to clarify what was reported in the Sun-News article from the 1/4/10 council meeting.  A council member had stated 90% of day care loans from USDA fail.  Crock said that is not true. 
He then distributed informational materials from USDA and the US Census to the council showing statistics to the contrary. 

M/S Olsen, Hoffmeier to seat council person Lisa Decker at 6:40 PM.  Ayes:  Conrad,
Ryan, Olsen, Hoffmeier.

Crock also told the Council, according to the Management and Use Agreement between the City and Little Home, the City is obligated to pay for property insurance and lawn mowing and snow removal at the Center which they have paid for over the last 3 years. Council asked Crock why Little Home was paying for these things if the City was supposed to.  He said they had a positive cash flow several years ago and they just paid for it.   Crock said Little Home needs short-term financial help until August or September and asked the City to make the monthly USDA loan payments of $1462/month until then.  Council took no action concerning this.    A joint meeting scheduled by North Cedar Community School Board with Little Home Learning Center and the City will be held February 3 at the elementary building in Lowden at which time the future of the day care will be discussed.

Visitors Jay Hein, Jodie Snowbarger, and Brad Schneider were present to tell the council they are considering building a bar/restaurant along 1st Street in the Pruess Addition, Lot 3.  They wanted to know what the proper procedure would be for a building permit, zoning, etc. Council told them the area is zoned agricultural and would have to be approved for commercial use by the Lowden Zoning Board before proceeding with their plans.  The issue will be put on the March meeting agenda to begin the process for their building plans.

Visitor Clark Gordon asked if the Council would consider televising the council meetings.  Council told Clark to speak to F&B about how this could be done and the subject will be added to the March meeting agenda.

Tim Malott, Cedar County EMA/911 Director, was present and told the council the County is doing a multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.  This plan has to be done to receive any federal grant money for disasters.  The City just completed a Hazard Mitigation Plan in June 2009 but now a county-wide plan needs to be done.  He told the Council the City could be eligible for reimbursement of costs incurred from the Dec. 2009 snow/ice storm. He also stated is very important for the Mayor or Fire Chief or a designee to attend the County EMA meetings since Lowden has not been in attendance in the past, with the next meeting being February 11 at the Courthouse.

Jan Olsen, Lowden Commercial Club, presented a request from their group for the council to direct the City maintenance men to put up and take down the Christmas wreaths and banners and also the blue welcome banners in the spring.  Council said the issue will be put on the March agenda.

Josh Quillin, a recipient of  CDBG housing rehabilitation funds, said he will have to move out of town for his job and he will not be able to meet the 5-year requirement for owning his home after the rehabilitation.  He asked the council to consider waiving the percentage he would owe the City on the forgivable loan agreement before the end of the loan agreement time period.  His loan agreement is from March 2008 to March 2013.   If he moved out this year he would have to pay back 60% of the $26680. on the loan.  Council will discuss this further at the March meeting.

Judy Norton, representing Cottage Square Apartments, objected to the 18% increase in garbage rates proposed by the City.  She said each of the 16 apartments is billed for a separate residential garbage rate of $8.50/mo. to be increased to $10.00/mo. or $160/mo. for the whole complex.  She said this would be a hardship on the budget of Cottage Square and they would have to increase the rent for the residents.  She asked why they are billed 16 individual rates when they have one dumpster that all apartments use. After discussion, M/S Ryan, Olsen to bill Cottage Square Apartments a Commercial 4 rate for garbage at $58.40/mo. with the new rate set to take effect April 2010.  Ayes:  All.

M/S Ryan, Decker to waive the second reading, have the third reading and adopt Ordinance #789 increasing the garbage rates by 18%.  Ayes:  All.   The new rates will be billed on the April 2010 water bills.

M/S Hoffmeier, Olsen to appoint Jeff Decker and Wes Griesbach to the Eastern Iowa Regional Housing Authority Commission.  Ayes:  All.

M/S Olsen, Hoffmeier to appoint Dean and Lisa Hamdorf to the Lowden Memorial Park Board.  Ayes:  All.

M/S Decker, Ryan to approve the monthly treasurer’s report.  Ayes:  All.

M/S Conrad, Olsen to approve liquor licenses for Two Friends Gift Shop and Good Times.  Ayes:  All.

Gene presented information, for future reference, on the cost for installing radio read meters @ $37.55/meter or approx. $13,142. for 350 meters.   Council told him to get a cost from another company. 

Visitor, Bill Norton, asked if the City could maintain the alley better for snow and ice removal between Norton Law Office and J & J Grocery.  Gene told him it is so narrow there it’s difficult to plow through but would see what could be done.

Mayor Hamdorf said he and Gene will continue to get prices for street work from
 LL Pelling, ILLowa, and Determan’s.

M/S Decker, Ryan to adjourn at 8:22 PM.  Ayes:  All.

Next regular meeting is March 1, 2010, 6:30 PM. 

Dan Hamdorf, Mayor
Peggy Kedley, City Clerk

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