Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

October 24, 2013

Water bills sent to collection

By Michael Schaffer Managing Editor
The Daily Iowegian

---- — The Centerville City Council Monday night voted 5-0 to turn over for collection more than $12,500 in delinquent, inactive water department accounts.

The 54 accounts total $12,542.68. The accounts will be sent to the county, state and a collection agency.

Six of those accounts will be sent to the Appanoose County treasurer totaling $1,614.09 for collection. The other 48 will be sent to the state of Iowa Offset Program or to a collection agency totaling $10,828.59.

The council voted 5-0 to waive the Appanoose County Baseball Association’s sewer portion of their water bill during the state baseball tournament as they watered the fields for play. The council waived $304.76 but the association did pay the minimum sewer amount.

Park Board representative Lottie Wilson informed the council a work day is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 2 to remove brush, shrubs and dead trees in City Park. She asked for volunteers, who will have to sign a waiver to protect the city. And it was discussed the wood will be offered to the public for a donation.

The council voted 5-0 to fund $1,000 a year for five years a local effort to secure a Vision Iowa, Community Attraction and Tourism grant.

William Mark Hoffman, representing Appanoose County Foundation and Appanoose County All Play, made the grant effort presentation to the council.

Hoffman said the state at one time offered CAT grants for 1/3 of the cost of a project. But after a presentation to the Vision Iowa board in early October, Hoffman said, they were told the state could only do 20 percent or $120,000 of the cost of the project.

So we need to raise 80 percent of the $600,000 project or an additional $80,000 the state will not fund, Hoffman said.

Besides Centerville’s $5,000 now (Centerville had previously committed $5,000 in-kind), one additional commitment for funding was approved by the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors Monday morning for $10,000 payable over five years, Hoffman said. Plus, the Tourism Committee, which had committed $20,000 in hotel and motel tax to the project, would be the next place Hoffman said he would approach with an additional $20,000 donation request.

Hoffman said the remaining money would be fronted by ACF.

Hoffman said All Play wants to make improvements at the sports complex. They want to “laser grade” and seed the fields to make them more user friendly for soccer and football players, increase the amount of parking and irrigation. The cost of All Play’s improvements comes to $230,000.

Hoffman said ACF wants to move forward with two rental cabins in Lelah Bradley Park on the east side of the lower reservoir, with the goal of building six cabins. Each cabin will have its own dock to the reservoir and access to a nearby walking trail.

The total expense for the Lelah Bradley Active Living Campus recreational cabins comes in at $370,000.

Improvements at Lelah Bradley also include a ranger’s residence that is currently under construction which boosts the total investment to $750,000, Hoffman said.

“It’s going to be a real nice development for the city of Centerville,” Hoffman said.

The Iowa Economic Development website states Vision Iowa assists projects that provides “recreational, cultural, entertainment and educational attractions. These attractions position a community to take advantage of economic development opportunities in tourism and strengthen a community’s competitiveness as a place to work and live.”

The council voted 5-0 to endorse a letter of intent to apply for Main Street Iowa status with the city collaborating with Grow Centerville, Inc., doing business as Organizing for Main Street.

Patti Lind and Bill Burch, representing Grow Centerville/Organizing for Main Street, made the presentation.

One thing Lind and Burch stressed was Main Street communities are eligible for state and federal money that non Main Street communities are not.

Centerville up until the mid 1990s was a Main Street Iowa community, Lind said. Main Street Iowa first started in 1986, she said.

The Main Street Iowa website states it has the “goal of economic development within the context of historic preservation.”

The meeting lasted 63 minutes. The next Centerville City Council meeting is 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4 at City Hall.