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Electric rate hike announced

By Staff | Nov 9, 2016

At Monday night’s city council meeting, the Council announced a 4.76 percent rate increase for residential customers for their electirc bill.

“The typical residential customer using 611 kilowatt hours per month will pay $4.17 more per month for electricity,”?city administrator Penny Clayton said.

The base charge at the meter increases 50 cents, from $10.50 to $11. The total electric bill for the 611 kilowatts of residential usage will see a total increase from the current $77.71 to $81.88. The increase will begin Jan. 1, 2017.

The council will take formal action on the proposed rate increase at their next meeting on November 21st.

Clayton said the rate hike went into effect Nov. 1, hence the city has been covering the increase for November and December.

The council also made a call for the sale of excess city property for development. The property, located at 314 S. Eighth St., is a two-story brick residence with a detached garage.

An issue with making the property available is a large amount of excess debris located inside the dwelling. From two deteriorating old pianos, to boxes of clothing, housewares, and unknown items, to piles of former possessions, to kitchen items left on the counters, it’s difficult to show the house because it may not be safe for the public to walk through it.

“Structurally, it’s pretty good,”?Clayton said.

Clayton added, “With the debris cleared out, the tile roof is acceptable, the floors are sound, there’s no water in the basement or on the plaster walls. It was a very well -built house.”

The council is requesting sealed bids from a qualified developer, who would purchase and improve the property. The council will set a minimum price reflecting the legal fees and maintenance the city has invested, as well as the estimate of around $3,000 to clear and properly dispose of the inside debris.

All purchase offers and development proposals compatible with the neighborhood will be considered, and a quit claim deed issued to the successful bidder, the council said, with a bid deadline of noon, Nov. 28.

In other business, the council approved a sign permit application for Danielle Westergaard of Sawmill Designs. Westergaard will sell rustic, wood furnishings and custom items, at 12 S. 6th Street.

The council also approved a sign permit application for Mike Radig for the new office of Khaos Graphx in the former Dollar General building.

The council approved the financing for the fire truck purchase, with Northstar Bank &?Agency offering 1.5 percent per year for 10 years on the $400,000 purchase.

The council went into closed session to discuss a real estate matter. The Council reported no action would be taken on the matter, hence the closed session was an approved one under Iowa Code.

The next city council meeting will be Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. in the council chambers at city hall.