VINTON — A new tool has been added to help the City of Vinton collect overdue payments.

During last week’s council meeting, Melissa Schwan, Vinton city clerk, shared information about the Income Offset Program, which is a program through the Iowa Department of Administrative Services. She explained that by registering for the program, the City of Vinton will be able to collect payment for past due accounts.

“If someone moves and does not notify the City or leaves with an unpaid balance, we could submit that bill and could get paid for that from an individual’s state tax refund or even lottery winnings,” Schwan told the council.

Of course there are guidelines with the program, she pointed out.

“The debt must be more than $50 and we need to show proof that we have tried to collect the debt before submitting a claim,” Schwan explained.

The claim is tied to an individual’s social security number.

“We (the City) can decide if we want to do this with inactive or delinquent accounts,” she added.

Schwan explained that is a program that is solely available to government entities as a way to collect payment for debt.

Eligible funds could come from tax refunds, vendor payments, Treasure Hunt, Lottery or casino winnings.

With full approval of the council, a resolution was passed for Schwan to complete the paperwork and file with the State.

Once that has been completed, city staff can begin using the service to collect past due items.

In other business:

-With the cement pad poured for the new splash pad in Kiwanis Park, Matt Boggess, director of the Vinton Parks & Recreation, asked the council to push back the completion date of the splash pad to next spring.

With a turn in the weather, “we were able to get the pad poured,” Boggess explained.

However, both Boggess and the contractor feel” it is in our best interest to wait and do installations in the spring.”

Boggess explained that when preliminary strength tests were taken on the PSI of the concrete was not proper strength to install the parts of the splash pad. Additional curing time will allow the strength of the concrete to increase.

Boggess had approached the council last month about pushing the completion date back for the project.

That initial request was denied because there was over a month left before the completion date.

“I wanted to see that concrete get poured yet this fall,” Ron Hessenius, council member, told Boggess last Thursday evening.

“I totally get that,” Boggess told the council, “and it was our hope that there would be warm days yet this fall to get that done and we were able to.”

Hessenius and the rest of the council agreed with Boggess’ request to wait for the remainder of the work to be done in the fall.

“We are supposed to have some warm days yet this month,” Boggess said. “If we can get work completed yet this year then we will.

“But for the grading and landscaping I would like to wait until next April to complete that work. Those things will not hamper the opening of the splashpad which will be the end of May,” he added.

- Approval was given for the first reading of an ordinance regulating the operation of utility vehicles (UTV) on city streets.

Brian Parr, council member, had urged the council to look at the city’s ordinance which covered both golf carts and UTVs.

If approved three times, the ordinance will allow UTVs to travel portions of the community where golf carts are not allowed.

The proposed changes will be on the agenda for the next council meeting.

-With Thanksgiving set for the fourth Thursday of the month, a motion was made and approved to move the second November council meeting to Tuesday, November 24. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

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