Jeff council looking to clean up speed limit ordinances

The Jefferson city council on Tuesday approved the first reading of an amended city ordinance to bring all streets under the jurisdiction of the Jefferson police department into the ordinance. The amendment also lists some violations that other cities have included but Jefferson ordinance did not.

The amendment includes the portions of Highway 30 and Highway 4 (north and south) that are within the Jefferson city limits, as well as portions of Linwood Ave, M Ave, W. Wall St, E. Central St, E. Russell St, S. Mulberry St, and 250th St.

Previously, speeding tickets written in these areas were under state code. If a person resisted the citation, going to court to “fight” it, it fell to county attorney Nic Martino to respond. With the change, dealing with tickets in court would fall to Vicki Copeland, part of the same firm as Bob Schwarzkopf, who does more of the city’s legal work.

“This just cleans everything up, makes it nice and easy and clean,” Clouse said.

During discussion, council member Gary Von Ahsen asked about a reduced speed limit on Highway 30 near the casino. Clouse answered that it’s under state jurisdiction, but he does expect a reduced speed limit there at some time in the future.

In other business, the council held a public hearing required to apply for Community Development Block Grant for owner-occupied housing rehabilitation and approved required policies. The council agreed to provide up to $18,000 to provide $2,500 in matching funds for no more than six projects. Funding will be spread over two or possibly three fiscal years. The targeted area is primarily the two blocks north of W. Lincoln Way between Elm St and Grimmell Road.

The council also approved an agreement with Region XII Council of Governments for technical services relative to the grant. That cost of $4,500 per project is rolled into the grant.

The council approved a payment of $200,130 to the Iowa Department of Transportation as the final payment on the Highway 4 overpass.  The money will not be paid until August.

The city bonded for $1.2 million for the project, the original cost estimate, and that amount has been paid to the DOT. The additional money represents cost overruns.

The city council scheduled a public hearing for the Jan. 9 meeting to amend the urban renewal plan to allow the city to fund the $200K payment with tax increment financing.

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