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Local News

June 23, 2011

Council tentatively approaches LOST; intends to fill council seat

CENTERVILLE — The Centerville City Council during their meeting Monday at City Hall took steps to fill a soon-to-be vacant council seat and tentatively addressed the Local Option Sales Tax set to expire on June 30, 2013.

LOST is 1 percent of the state sales tax consumers in Appanoose County pay for goods and services. The 1 percent collected in Appanoose County is supposed to go to local capital improvement projects.

Up until June 30, 2013, the Drake Public Library gets 25 percent, the fire department 20 percent and the school system 20 percent of LOST revenues. Voters in 2009 decided to divert 35 percent of LOST revenues originally slated for the Aquatic Center to APNC, also known as the Appanoose County Community Railroad.

Go to the Daily Iowegian website, to read about APNC's use of LOST revenue on a recent bridge replacement project.

Kim Crego, Centerville city clerk and commissioner of municipal services, said LOST revenue is there to fund capitol improvements and is not to be used for general expenses. She said the school and library are not part of the new proposed LOST recipients because their capitol improvements are finished.

What the council did Monday was to tentatively approve a new list of LOST revenue recipients. But it's a work in progress.

By a 5-0 vote, the council tentatively said LOST funds should be distributed as follows: 35 percent will go to city infrastructure; 35 percent will go to reducing the $20 added to the wastewater bill to $12.75; 20 percent will go to improving pools, parks and playground equipment; 5 percent will go to fire department equipment needs and 5 percent to economic development through Appanoose Economic Development Corporation.

If the voters Nov. 1 agree to this plan, this group of recipients will start collecting LOST revenue at those percentages beginning July 1, 2013. It was said at the meeting that 5 percent equals $25,000 a year.

A work in progress?

Crego said the next step is to present what they have to the public to get feedback. Ask what the public would like to see the money spent on.

Even Crego conceded it might be a hard sell.

The plan is to collect public feedback and convene the LOST Oversight Committee (Mike Bogle, Joyce Bieber, Chamber director, Mike O'Connor, Mark Lechtenberg and Councilman Rob Lind) and the Centerville City Council LOST Committee (Councilman Wallace "Moe" Carter, Councilman Darrin Hamilton, Mayor Marsha Mitchell and Crego) to review the results and bring LOST ballot language recommendation to the city council to approve or reject.

And then on Nov. 1, eligible voters in Appanoose County will have the ultimate power: Continue the current 7 percent state sales tax rate or drop LOST and go to 6 percent.

In other action, the council approved a resolution 5-0 declaring their intent to appoint a person at their Aug. 1 regular meeting to fill the vacancy created by councilman Robbie Morgan, who is resigning effective July 1 because he is moving outside the city limits.

The council will have Personnel Committee members Carter and Hamilton do closed door interviews of applicants wanting to replace Morgan. The committee is expected to make the best choice and bring that to the full council Aug. 1 to approve or reject.

The other option is, the electors of the 2nd Ward can file a petition with the Centerville city clerk requesting a special election to fill the vacancy.

The new council member selected would serve until Jan. 2, 2012 when duly elected council members from the Nov. 1, 2011 election are sworn in. Whoever is picked to replace Morgan, they would have to run for election Nov. 1 if they wanted to remain on the council.

So far the city has yet to release the names of those who have expressed an interest in being on the city council.

Morgan was elected in November 2009 and replaced Kris Koestner in the 2nd Ward.

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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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