City Council approves H/M tax grants

Five grants, recommended by the Hotel/Motel Tax Board, were approved Monday night by the City Council of Webster City. The grants totaled $37,416.

Pat Westcott, chairman of the board, told the council that a total of eight applicants that were narrowed to six.

“We are nominating five of the applications for grant approval,” she said.

Wilson Brewer Historic Park was awarded $12,181.06 to increase hours of operation, add new monthly events that would showcase the park and several holiday events.

Webster City Women’s Club will receive $3,931.17 to add a handicap ramp to the Jane Young House. The grant proposal said the group would build the ramp in accordance to state and Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

The Webster City Community Theatre is requesting $6,904 to fund advertising for their productions and to host Camp Creamery, a week long summer children’s theater workshop.

A total of $8,000 was awarded to the City of Webster City for a new website. The current website was designed in 2003.

The Art in Boone River County committee will receive $6,400 to continue and expand the sculpture event in Webster City and to host a children’s sculpture workshop.

Westcott said that with the approval of the five grants, the Hotel/Motel Tax Board would still have a balance of about $70,000.

In approving the grants, the council members also expressed interest in reviewing the grant process and procedures with the board during a work session. Mayor Janet Adams also suggested that a grant workshop might be helpful to those applying for future grants.


As Monday’s meeting was the first of the new year, the City Council passed several appointments and resolutions routinely presented in January. The appointments are as follows:

Karyl Bonjour was appointed City Clerk (two years)

Elizabeth Ann Smith was appointed Deputy City Clerk (two years)

Gary J. Groves was appointed City Attorney (two years)

Stephen L. Mourlam was appointed City Treasurer (one year)

Ken Wetzler was appointed to the North Iowa Municipal Electrical Cooperative Association; Ed Sadler was appointed the alternate

Karla Wetzler was appointed to the Mid Iowa Regional Housing Authority

Brian Stroner was appointed as the Right to Know Coordinator

Kent Harfst was named to the Greenbelt Advisory Commission

Police Chief Brian Hughes was named to the E-911 Service Board

Janet Adams was appointed to the Hamilton County Communication Service Advisory Board

and the Hamilton County Resource Enhance Committee

Fire Chief Mike Lund was named to the Hamilton County Civil Defense/Disaster Board

Kent Harfst was appointed to the MIDAS Transportation Advisory Committee, with Ken Wetzler to serve as an alternate

Second reading

The second reading of the proposed electric rate increase was approved by the council Monday night. This increase will represent a 6 to 7 percent increase in energy and demand rates.

City Manager Ed Sadler told the council in a memo that the city was notified of the increase from Cornbelt Power Cooperative scheduled for on Jan. 1.

“The adjustment to the rates is affecting both the energy (kilowatt hour) and demand charges. It’s estimated that these charges will raise rates an average of 6 to 7 percent, and in Webster City, it will probably lean more towards 7 percent since Webster City utilizes a higher than average amount of demand,” Sadler wrote.

Sadler told the council that the next City Scene online newsletter will include an article on how the city determines electric charges.

The third and final reading of the ordinance will be held at the next council meeting.

Archery club update

Jared Zimmer, vice president of the Border Brigade Archery Club, presented an update to the council on the group’s progress.

Zimmer explained that the organization had entered into an agreement with Gene Barrick for the use of 7B Ranch.

“We’ve had several community members who have pledged their support and some have become members. Other organizations, like 4-H, have expressed an interest for utilizing our facilities for the archery portion of their shooting sports activities,” he said. He added that the club had also been contacted to assist with the adventure race during the Boone Bash River Dash.

“We’ve also partnered with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to hold education activities at the ranch,” he said. “There’s a lot that’s been happening since the last time we spoke with the council.”

Zimmer said the group would like to be put on the agenda for the next council meeting.

“We still have further to go. We have a lot of equipment to buy and a lot of things need to be done,” he said. “We have requests for city.”

Zimmer also invited the community to attend the club’s open house at the 7B Ranch Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. to learn more about the group.

Local resident Pam Garcia spoke to the council about the benefits her son was receiving by being involved with the organization.

“I appreciate what this archery club is for my son,” she said. “This club can be a mentor for many other young people who may lack male role models in the home. And it’s also a place that families can go. I think it’s something that the whole community can benefit from.”