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New police officers

Police Chief Randy Miller (left) introduces two new police officers, Chris Cass and Chris Boos at the October 28 City Council meeting.

INDEPENDENCE – After a 45 minute closed session Monday night, the Independence City Council took no action on the Fixed Base Operator and Airport Manager contracts, other than to direct Mayor Carl Scharff to appoint a sub-committee of Council Members not currently serving on the Airport Committee. The new ad hoc committee is to meet with FBO/Manager Jonathan Walter to discuss airport operation issues and develop recommendations for contract changes. The motion to passed 4-3, with Council Members Jeanne Hermsen, Richard Engen and Dennis Vaughn dissenting. Vaughn stated he thought the new committee should be comprised of non-council members, as they would be less biased. Engen voted “Nay” because he objected to the process, saying it would set a bad precedence. Hermsen also thought the potential committee members were set in their opinions, and a new committee was not a good idea.

After the new sub-committee is selected and meets, their recommendations will be brought before the entire council for further action.

In other Council Business

- The Fire Department was approved to submit a grant application to Walmart in the amount of $2,500. The funds will be applied to the purchase of four AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators). According to the application, the units will be placed on a rescue vehicle, a rural fire truck, a city fire truck and one in or near the Fire Station.

- Larry Burger of Speer Financial reviewed the Tax Increment Finance Report. He felt the finances were in good order.

- The Urban Renewal Plan was amended to clarify City property in the Plan and add proposed city projects. Proposed plans included: 20th Avenue SW Street Lighting and Wideninig Improvement Projects, 5th Avenue NE Sidewalk Improvement Project, 1st Street W Sidewalk Improvement Project (between 10th and 13th Avenues), River Walk Trail Improvement Project, Liberty Trail Trailhead Improvement Project, Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDCC) Support Program, Skinner Storage Development Project (100 block of 19th Avenue NW), Airport Snow Removal Facilities Building Project, and an Airport Master Plan Update. All projects were approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission. The motion to accept the Urban Renewal plan was passed with a 5-2 vote with Council Members Vaughn and Engen dissenting.

- Approved pay estimates totaling $25,461.00 to TOJO Construction for the 2011 Housing Rehabilitation Program.

- Approved the Final Plat of Green View Commercial Addition (Near 20th Avenue SW and Bland Boulevard).

- Approved an agreement between the City and Fox Engineering to provide engineering services to draft a treatment agreement with Tyson Pet Products not to exceed $8,000.

- Adopted an Ordinance amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Independence, Iowa, by amending provisions pertaining to City Council, specifically:

Section 17.02(8). Council Committees. Confirm Mayor’s appointment of City Council Committee members. The City Council shall govern and enforce the City of Independence City Council Committees Structure, Responsibilities, and Operational Guidelines.

- Adopted an Ordinance amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Independence, Iowa, by amending provisions pertaining to the office of Mayor, specifically adding:

Section 15.02(7) Council Committees. Annually appoint Council Committee members and obtain Council confirmation of each membership.

and modifying:

Section 15.03 APPOINTMENTS. The Mayor shall appoint the Mayor Pro-Tem

and the Mayor also appoints, with Council approval, the following officials and

City Council Committee members:

1. Police Chief

2. City Attorney

3. Library Board of Trustees

4. Utility Board of Trustees

5. Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee

6. Planning and Zoning Commission (Code of Iowa. Sec. 372.4)

7. City Council Committee members

The next Independence City Council meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 12, due to the Veterans’ Day Holiday.