By Michael Schaffer Managing Editor
The Daily Iowegian
---- — The Centerville City Council Monday night voted 4-0 to appoint Neil MacArthur to fill the council vacancy created by Edwin Brand’s resignation.
Pastor Brad Dittmer was the other Centerville resident who sought the council seat.
Both men during the interview process at the start of the meeting said they wanted to help the community.
“I’m putting my name up just simply because I feel that we need people to step up,” Brad Dittmer said. “I’d like to be an example.”
“I really feel like we have found home,” Neil MacArthur said of his and his family’s move to Centerville. “And if I can make a small contribution in these next few weeks ... I’ll be glad to do it.”
Brand submitted his resignation letter dated Nov. 6 and the City Council during a special meeting Nov. 13 voted to accept it.
MacArthur will finish Brand’s term in Ward 2 until the end of the year. Darrin Hamilton the first of 2014 will be sworn-in as the elected councilman in Ward 2 after beating Jay Rogers in November.
The council voted 5-0 to close a public hearing on a proposal to file a Community Development Block Grant, housing rehabilitation grant application in conjunction with project administrator Chariton Valley Planning and Development.
The grant, if awarded, will go toward the rehabilitation of a certain number of “low and moderate income single family owner occupied dwellings in the target” in Centerville, according to a document in the council’s agenda packet for Monday’s meeting.
Nichole Moore, CVP&D executive director, said the program will assist eligible homeowners with needs like roofing, siding, windows, gutters, downspouts, painting, insulation, wiring, flooring and foundation concerns.
“Those needs are identified that will be addressed in the areas will bring the house up to minimum housing standards according to the state of Iowa,” Moore said.
CVP&D received 27 “pre-applications” by the close of business Oct. 11, 2011, Moore said. A review of the pre-applications was done to check for home ownership and income verification.
The target area continues to be the north side of Centerville and additional smaller ares in the city.
The CDBG application filed through the Iowa Economic Development Authority is for $393,790, Moore said. The city’s commitment is $20,000.
The council at it’s next meeting will have the final CDBG application to approve, Moore said. After which time the final application will be submitted online.
Centerville resident Mark Revers talked about honorary signs at city’s edge for high school state championship teams and for Centerville native Mack Garner, the winning jockey in the 1934 Kentucky Derby. He also brought up renaming street signs after long-standing community contributors.
Centerville Mayor Jan Spurgeon said the city, Chamber and ISU Design Lab are in the process of developing signage for Centerville. She encouraged Revers to stay involved.
“The signage is definitely going to get done,” Spurgeon said.
Centerville Police Chief Tom Demry backed the idea of honorary signs but said changing the name of city street signs “is not a good idea.” Demry said it would be disruptive for emergency personnel, people living on the streets and would be costly.
Spurgeon presented the Jim Senior Memorial Citizen of the Month award to Paulette and Warren Sells.
Spurgeon talked about the Sells’ extensive volunteer commitment to the community. They are volunteer members of the Live Nativity Christmas Chorus Pageant, involved in various Garden Club activities, helped to maintain Oakland Cemetery and were involved in the restoration of the First United Methodist Church.
Warren was a football worker in the press box posting scores on the scoreboard as part of his school employee duties in the beginning. And yet since his retirement in 1996, Warren continues to put the numbers on the scoreboard for the Centerville Big Reds football team.
The Sells have been married since 1966 and have two children.
In other action, the council passed 5-0 the following agenda action items.
• Centerville Produce’s application for tax abatement.
• Municipal Pipe Tool, the contractor hired to do the Sanitary Sewer System Rehabilitation Phase V project, was granted an extension of their contract’s completion date of Nov. 1 to April 30.
• Ruan Securities underwriting engagement letter, which means the city plans to proceed with it’s bonding issue.
Monday’s meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m. The next regular Centerville City Council meeting is 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2 at City Hall.