Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

September 19, 2013

Water board avoids Nov. ballot

By Michael Schaffer Managing Editor
The Daily Iowegian

---- — The Centerville City Council Monday night voted 3-2 to not pass a resolution calling for a city election to allow the citizens to decide if the Centerville Water Works Board of Trustees should be dissolved in order to allow the city to assume direct control of its operations.

Voting against approval of the resolution were Councilmen Rob Lind, Edwin Brand and Richard Smith. Voting in favor of passing the resolution were Councilmen Jay Dillard and Darrin Hamilton.

Lind argued it would be better to wait until the election in 2015 in order to be able to formulate a fair assessment of the water board. Lind said the city and water board should be able to work out details to make the water board and water department more efficient.

Hamilton argued a lot of people have told him they want it on the ballot.

Dillard argued it would be better to allow the voters to decide if they want to keep the water board. Give them an opportunity to speak.

“At the end of the day, they’re the boss,” Dillard said. “So we would want to hear their feedback on this.”

Patrick Antonen, city administrator, said communication between the water board and City Hall has been lacking and meetings were repeatedly rescheduled. He offered changes are coming down the road but he didn’t go into specifics.

“Whatever comes of this, something will change and if it’s going to change, hopeful for the better, whichever way it goes,” Antonen said. “The issue has been made known.”

Carl Cisler, water board chairman, said not once has the council come to the water board to present their issues.

He asked for the opportunity to work with the city administrator so he can help them make decisions.

One reason why the issue made the agenda was papers have to be filed with the county auditor by Sept. 19 in order to be included on the next city election ballot, Antonen said.

It’s still an open ended issue because there are two ways to force the issue on the next city ballot.

One was what the council denied, through a resolution. The second way is for 10 percent of the number of voters in the last city election — or about 60 — sign a petition asking for it to be on the ballot.

The citizens of Centerville voted to form a water board in 1948.

The council voted 4-1 to lower the special assessment for sidewalks and driveway cutouts being charged to property owners in the 10th Street and East and West State Street paving project from 25 percent to 10 percent. The city would then bond for the remaining 15 percent.

Brand voted against lowering the assessment.

The City Council granted a request made by Joy Korthuis with Outside the Box with a letter of support for the new preschool and daycare to be located at 205 E. Van Buren St.

Korthuis said she is scheduled to meet with the Department of Human Services to present to them her plans. She said the plan is to be open by the first of the year.

Korthuis said the preschool and daycare will be open from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. and once they sign up enough children, they will be open 24 hours a day. She said the new preschool and daycare will be able to handle up to 70 children between the ages of 2 to 13.

Other items on the agenda included:

• The council voted 3-2 to allow the VFW to solicit donations for poppy sales at the intersection of highways 2 and 5 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Nov. 2. Post commander William Helleur said they have 10 people signed up to assist and they have a $1 million liability insurance policy.

Voting against the idea was Lind and Hamilton.

Lind said he was against the idea because it’s at the intersection of two state highways and it presents a liability issue, to which Hamilton agreed.

• The council voted 5-0 to give Lisa Eddy, curator at the Appanoose County Historical and Coal Mining Museum, permission to hold the ninth annual Haunted History Tour at Oakland Cemetery on Oct. 26. A day light and a night time tour will be offered.

Eddy said they have local people portray deceased individuals with stories that bring them back to life and showcases the rich heritage of the community.

• Two items were removed from the agenda by the mayor at the start of the council meeting. Mayor’s appointment of Justine Heffron to fill the vacancy on the Planning and Zoning Commission and a resolution amending certain provisions in the employee handbook.

• The council voted 5-0 to accept Jan Spurgeon’s resignation from the Planning and Zoning Commission due to a conflict of interest after being named mayor.

• The council approved several board and commission re-appointments. Jon Schmidt and Brad Wardlow were re-appointed to the Airport Zoning Commission; Bill Buss was re-appointed to the Civil Service Commission; Ruthann Dickerson was re-appointed to the Municipal Housing Board; Richard Baze, John Humphrey and Louise Kennis were re-appointed to the Zoning Adjustment Board; Bill Matkovich was re-appointed to the Planning and Zoning Commission; and Carl Cisler was re-appointed to the Board of Review-Minimum Housing Standards.

• The council voted 4-1 to give Chariton Valley Planning and Development money to leverage a Community Development Block Grant for low- to moderate-income housing rehabilitation in 2014.

The plan is to request approximately $400,000 grant to rehabilitate 10 homes in Centerville. The city is offering to put up $10,000 as matching money.

The city’s cost for CVP&D to write the grant application is $3,000. The application has to be submitted by December.

Brand cast the no vote.

The city funded CVP&D before in search of a CDBG, but was not selected for a grant.

“So we’ll renew our efforts and double our efforts and hopefully we’ll be successful this year in getting some CDBG funds,” Antonen said.

• The council voted 5-0 to place the Social Host Ordinance on their next agenda with the intent to hold its first reading toward approval.

Centerville Police Chief Tom Demry said the ordinance is a good thing and the city should stand behind it.

* The council voted 5-0 to deny the request made by Danny Moore for a liquor license for South Side Cellar, located in the 1600 block of South 18th Street.

Demry said Moore has a lengthy criminal record including alcohol, drug, weapon, assault and harassment charges.

“Many of those I would consider to be issues and problems that probably would not coincide with somebody running a bar,” Demry said.

As reported in Wednesday’s Ad Express, Centerville Mayor Jan Spurgeon presented Dianne Senior, the wife of the late mayor Jim Senior, the inaugural Jim Senior Memorial Citizen of the Month award at Monday’s City Council meeting. Spurgeon said it was only fitting that she should be named the first recipient of the award.

Monday’s council meeting lasted 70 minutes with approximately 50 in attendance.

The next Centerville City Council meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7 at City Hall.