Oelwein Mayor Peggy Sherrets began Monday’s City Council proceedings with a proclamation signing declaring Thursday, Oct 17, as Manufacturing Day in Oelwein. In signing the proclamation, Sherrets stressed it is an effective way to highlight the importance of manufacturing to the economy in the area, as well as draw attention to the rewarding, high-skilled manufacturing jobs.
In addition, Sherrets said the observance celebrates the manufacturers in the community and the school programs that prepare the future workforce.
“On Manufacturing Day, we celebrate all those who proudly stand behind our goods and services made in America, and we renew our commitment to winning the race for the jobs of tomorrow,” Sherrets said.
Witnessing the signing were RAMS Center employees Sandy Magsamen, success coach and Dorothy Wehling, executive assistant.
The meeting continued with residents addressing the Council on issues of concern.
Ron Winter asked about utility vehicles such as 4-wheelers or gators not being allowed on city streets. Mayor Sherrets said no one has ever made the request before. Winter also asked when the fee on a second failed inspection of rental houses went up from $25 to $100. City Administrator Dylan Mulfinger said the fee was designated during the last fee update.
Resident Brett DeVore asked the Council if the city has a long-term plan in place for dealing with the aging water and sewer infrastructure. He said there has been a water main break at the same place on his street every year.
“We’re working on rebuilding homes, but we need to improve streets and water. You’re always going to have immediate issues without a long-range plan,” he said.
Mulfinger said the city has applied for a Community Development Block Grant to assist with infrastructure needs.
School bus driver Paul Ganske asked if the city could designate a walking lane on Seventh Street SE and Eighth Avenue SE where there are no sidewalks for kids going to and from school. Mulfinger explained the city is working on a transportation connectivity plan to link sidewalks throughout town.
Councilwoman Renee Cantrell reported on recommendations for funding requests from the Planning Finance Enterprise and Economic Development committee, which met before the Council meeting Monday. Funding requests are filled from the city’s hotel/motel tax.
Approval was given to a funding request of $3,105 for the Junior Husky Basketball Club. The non-profit club gives Oelwein youth grades 2-8 the opportunity to play organized basketball. Approximately 130 youth participate in the JHBC, which has teams that travel to tournaments across NE Iowa. The JHBC also hosts the Husky Holiday Hoopfest tournament each year.
Funding was approved in the amount of $1,500 to the Williams Center for the Arts.
A funding assistance request for 16 Third St. NE was also approved in the amount of $4,300.
The mayor asked Council’s approval of the appointment of Gary Crawford to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, which was unanimous.
Two executive sessions after which no subsequent actions were taken. The first session was to discuss litigation strategy per Iowa Code Section 21.5©. The second session was to discuss sale of particular real estate to avoid premature disclosure per Iowa Code Section 21.5(j).
After returning to regular session, the meeting adjourned.
Oelwein City Council meetings are open to the public and held at City Hall the second and fourth Monday each month at 6 p.m. It is noted that the Nov. 11 meeting falls on Veterans Day and has been moved to Tuesday, Nov. 12.