Jeff council names finance committee

Also okays bulk discharge of ammonia nitrogen into sanitary sewer system

The Jefferson city council at its Oct. 24 meeting instituted a new finance committee to provide what departing council member Gary Von Ahsen called “a different set of eyes” looking at the city’s finances.

Mayor Craig Berry appointed council members Harry Ahrenholtz and Larry Teeples to the committee.

Berry said the committee “will create an efficiency in the city to make sure the departments have their financials in order.”

The committee will meet quarterly and review summary financials from each department and enterprise. “It will give an opportunity on a quarterly basis to take a high level view of what the revenues have been, what they were projected, what the expenses have been, and then what that gap is that the taxpayers are filling,” Ahrenholtz said

Ahrenholtz hopes the financial information will be “practical and a broad audience can understand.” He said the department heads are doing a good job, but information sometimes doesn’t get out as it should.

The council approved an agreement with Landus Cooperative for a bulk water discharge into the city’s sanitary sewer system. Landus and the city have been in negotiation for several months on the discharge.

The water to be discharged is from reclamation of a former fertilizer storage area. It contains ammonia nitrogen. The contaminated water will come to the city system via a holding tank connected to the sanitary sewer system. No more than 300 gallons will be discharged per day. City engineer Jim Leiding said that that’s equivalent to the sewer discharge of 60 homes.

Monitoring will be done twice monthly to assure the city remains compliant with state and federal regulations. Valves and meters will be in place, and the discharge from the holding tank can be limited at any time to maintain compliance.

Landus will pay the city $1.34 per 100 gallons of water received and $3.75 per pound of total Kjeldahl nitrogen (concentration of organic nitrogen and ammonia). Landus will also pay the city a monthly $100 administrative fee.

The agreement will be in effect for five years.

Cody Smith

The council approved hiring Cody Smith as a police patrol officer. Smith comes from the Indianola area. He earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Iowa Central Community College. He and his wife will move to Jefferson. He will start Oct. 25 at an annual wage of $40,504.

Ahrenholtz was part of the interview committee. He told the council all three candidates interviewed were strong candidates, and that he was very impressed with Smith.


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