New committee assignments, routine business for Jeff council

Per the mayor, the police committee will function better without a council member

The Jefferson city council will no longer have a member on the city’s police committee.

Committee appointments are made by mayor Craig Berry. Committee assignments are made at the first meeting of the year, but assignments were changed to reflect Larry Teeples’ resignation from the council and Darrin Jackson’s election to the vacancy.

It was council member who Matt Gordon who questioned why the police committee wasn’t listed on the new committee assignments.

Berry answered that there is no police committee “for the time being.”

“I talked to Mike (Palmer). I talked to (police chief) Mark (Clouse), and we decided that committee would work better with me, Mike, Mark, and (police captain) Heath (Enns) on it, versus having a liaison from the council,” Berry said.

There was no other discussion about the police committee and the assignments were approved unanimously.

New committee assignments are:
• Matt Gordon – Personnel, park and recreation, airport, fire department
• Harry Ahrenholtz – Public works, housing, GCDC, finance, personnel
• Matt Wetrich – Golf course, park and recreation, recycling, finance
• Darren Jackson – Library, housing, cemetery, hotel/motel fund
• Dave Sloan – Public works, Highway 30 Coalition, hotel/motel fund, LEC, animal shelter

The council also approved appointing Teeples to the airport commission.

The council approved the second reading of the ordinance amending the current ordinance dealing with waste collection to allow for automated collection. The council then waived the third reading and approved a motion adopting the ordinance.

City residents will see few changes to trash collection. New trash carts will be delivered to residents the last week in August with the automated pick-up slated to begin Sept. 3. No change in collection rates are planned at this time.

The council approved a 28E agreement with Greene County that calls for the city to pay the county $25,000 toward dispatching. Dispatchers are employees of the sheriff’s office but dispatch for both the sheriff’s office and the Jefferson police department. The city has not previously paid for dispatch services.

The agreement is for one year. Each party must notify the other by January 1 if it wants to change the terms of the agreement for the next year.

The council approved a resolution accepting the FAA grant agreement for funds to relocate a road for the runway expansion project. The FAA is paying 100 percent of the construction costs of the road relocation.

The council also approved a grant in the amount of $3,081 to Habitat for Humanity to do improvements to the office façade at 114 S. Chestnut St. The grant is for half the total project cost. The grant comes from $300,000 the council earmarked for façade improvements in the Main Street district.

Council member Ahrenholtz is president of the Heart of Iowa Habitat for Humanity board of directors. He did not abstain from voting on the grant approval.

The council set Sept. 24 as the date for a workshop to set budget priorities for fiscal year 2020-21.

Mayor Berry proclaimed this week as American Wind Week in Jefferson, noting that 40 percent of the energy in Iowa is generated by the wind and that the wind energy industry has played an important role in the community via the TIF applied to the Beaver Creek Wind Farm for construction of the regional career academy.

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