Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

April 7, 2014

Property dominates council agenda

The Centerville City Council has two public hearings planned for their regular meeting today at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. Both hearings deal with franchise and fee agreements with Interstate Power and Light, aka Alliant Energy.

The first reading of said ordinances will establish a 25 year natural gas and electric franchise agreement with IP&L and Centerville and a 3 percent franchise fee for both utility services.

Ordinance wording includes IP&L will bill monthly a 3 percent franchise fee “on the gross receipts from the sale of” natural gas and electric to their customers within city limits. The fee is a separate line item on customer’s utility bill.

Patrick Antonen, Centerville city administrator, in a previous Daily Iowegian story, said the 3 percent utility franchise fee would replace the 1 percent Local Option Sales and Service Tax utility city customers are paying currently.

The change from the 1 percent LOSST to the 3 percent franchise fee will start “on or before the first Company billing cycle of the first calendar month following 90 days of receipt of information required of the City to implement the franchise fee.”

The money collected through the franchise fee comes back to Centerville.

As for the other items before the council Monday practically all of them deal with property issues.

One item calls for the approval of a resolution to voluntarily annex Golfview Addition Owner’s Association into the city.

Two items Monday call for the approval of resolutions to start the abandonment process against the Laurson and Bacon property.

The resolutions state Carl N. and Ruth Marie Laurson and Jesse W. Bacon have abandoned their property “and as a result of such abandonment (the property) has become a nuisance.” Iowa code allows cities to “take title to the Property ... in order to sell the Property to an owner who will improve the Property.”

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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