The regular meeting of the Lowden City Council was called to order by Mayor Dan Hamdorf.   Council members present on roll call:  Conrad, Olsen, Decker, Hoffmeier.
Visitors:  Helen Gottschalk, Bill Norton, Joe Crock, Gene Hamdorf, Tom Schwarz, Phillip Benge, Rod Daebelliehn, Jerri Daebelliehn.

M/S Conrad, Decker to approve the minutes of  the 6-7-10 council meeting.  Ayes:  Conrad, Olsen, Decker, Hoffmeier.

M/S Conrad, Olsen to seat Ryan at 7:01 PM.  Ayes:  Conrad, Olsen, Decker, Hoffmeier.

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

Bill Norton and Joe Crock, representing Little Home Day Care Center, were present to ask the City for assistance with the center’s financial situation.  They asked if the City would pay $2000/month to Little Home to help supplement their income for one year.  This amount would help pay the USDA loan payment of $1462, plus the monthly reserve payment of $147 and the monthly funded depreciation payment of $249 – totaling $1858.   Councilman Hoffmeier asked Norton and Crock, with the additional money, what the center will do to make things work.   Bill Norton said they will try to attract additional students.  They also have a donor for computers for the center.   Conrad and Ryan felt helping fund the day care center with City money should be a decision of the taxpayers of Lowden.  Conrad said the majority of residents in Lowden he has spoken to are not in favor of the City helping fund the center.  Council discussed a referendum question which could be placed on the November election ballot asking if the City should help support the Little Home Day Care Center financially.   This could possibly be through a 1-cent local option tax.   Bill Norton said they cannot operate until November.  He compared the day care center to the library as far as how the City should support it.   Lisa Decker felt it is the right thing to do for the City to help Little Home for one year.   Jim Olsen said the City should “juggle the books” to give Little Home Day Care Center the money requested.   Mayor Hamdorf said the General Fund currently is about minus $26,000 and questioned where this money would come from.   Bill Norton proposed using TIF funds held by the City for low-to-moderate income projects or using Local Option Tax money.   According to the City’s bond attorney,  TIF money is for residential LMI projects only.  The Local Option Tax money is for the voted-upon specific purpose of infrastructure in the City, meaning sewers, water mains, and streets. 

M/S Olsen, Decker to pay Little Home Day Care Center $2000/month from July 2010 to June 2011.   Ayes:  Olsen, Decker.   Nays:  Conrad, Ryan, Hoffmeier.  Motion defeated.  

Bill Norton turned over the Little Home Day Care checkbook to the Mayor.   Mayor said the issue would be placed on the August agenda for further discussion.

Rod Daebelliehn, Honor Flight for Cedar County Veterans, was present to ask if the City would make a donation to the WWII Honor Flight coming up this fall.

M/S Olsen, Decker to donate $500 to the Honor Flight for Cedar County Veterans.
Ayes:  All.

Tom Schwarz told the council drainage from Grant Avenue behind Gary Oster’s is running onto Delores Heilmann’s property on 5th St. Place.  Since the new curb and gutter was installed on Grant Avenue, there is more concentration of water in that area.  Schwarz asked if the City could divert this water by installing a storm sewer in that location.   Council felt this was not the City’s problem and took no action.

M/S Ryan, Olsen to approve the $30,000 real estate contract purchase of approximately three acres of land from Larre Petersen for a new waterwater plant . Ayes: All.   City will pay the amount in three installments due on 8-1-10, 8-1-11, and 8-1-12.

In the next two months, the Mayor and City Council will conduct a door to door income survey.   This information is needed to apply for Community Development Block Grant funding for a new wastewater plant.   Information is confidential and no names are on the surveys.  The survey asks one question concerning a resident’s income indicating if it is above or below a certain level.

M/S Decker, Conrad to approve Resolution 10-04 setting salaries for City employees for FY2011.  Ayes:  All.

Council noted west 9th Street will be blocked off for a household auction on July 31.

Council will consider using retained TIF funds to install new sidewalks at the Helen Gottschalk property along Washington Avenue.  The area is very low and water does not drain properly there.

Bill Norton addressed the City Council again regarding Little Home Day Care Center.  He asked them to check the ballot language on the local option tax question approved on 1/17/06.  He said the local option tax could also be used to help fund Little Home Day Care Center.  Council disagreed and referred to the ballot language. It says the 1% local option tax funds will be expended for the specific purpose of “infrastructure improvements to include water/sewer/storm sewer improvements, and street/curb & gutter improvements”.   Council discussed if the City could have a vote to implement an additional ½ cent option tax to fund Little Home. They also considered a vote to reallocate the existing option tax whereby ½ would be used for infrastructure in the City and ½ for Little Home.

After a lengthy discussion, M/S Ryan, Conrad to pay Little Home Day Care Center  $2000/month for one year from July 2010 to June 2011, have a referendum question on the November election ballot asking the citizens of Lowden to help fund Little Home Day Care Center with a ½ cent local option tax, and if the vote fails, the $2000/month payment would end after June 30, 2011.   Ayes:  All.

M/S Decker, Ryan to approve the monthly financial report.  Ayes:  All.

Gene presented an estimate of $43,423.45 from MSI, Wyoming, for summer street work.  Council said they would like the work done before mid-August.

Gene will order grates for the storm sewer drop boxes at Hall Avenue and 4th St.

Gene also reported Jay Hein will pay for 200’ of storm sewer pipe long Hein’s new business on Washington Avenue and the City will install the pipe.   Gene will check on the proposed parking area at the new business.

Council directed Gene to check the storm sewer intake near Marilyn Lafrenz’ property on Harding Avenue.  Water does not drain properly there during heavy rains.

M/S Ryan, Decker to adjourn at 9:45 PM.  Ayes:  All.

Next regular meeting will be August 2, 2010, 7:00 PM.          

Dan Hamdorf, Mayor
Peggy Kedley, City Clerk

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