Second reading of demolition change approved

The City Council of Webster City heard the second reading of a proposed ordinance to change the name of city demolition permits when they met on Monday evening.

City Manager Ed Sadler said the amendment to the code of ordinances would clear up confusion about what the city is responsible for when a local building is demolished. While he said the city doesn’t really give anyone permission to demolish their private property, the permits address the city’s interests during the demolition process.

“Our real interest with the city is making sure that the utilities the city owns are disconnected properly to not damage the system and also to make sure that the debris is properly disposed of with the county landfill,” Sadler said.

As such, the city is looking to rename them “Utility Disconnect and Debris Disposal Permits.” There was no further discussion. The third and expected final reading of the amendment is scheduled for the council’s Feb. 17 meeting.

During time for public information, City Attorney Gary Groves said that as of March 1, he will associate with a young lawyer from the Prairie City area. Groves introduced Zach Chizek, who graduated from Drake Law School in May and passed his bar exams in September. Chizek said he is excited to begin working with Groves.

“I am looking forward to the move up to Webster City,” Chizek said.

In other business, the council set several times for public hearings to be held at their next meeting on Feb. 17. A hearing on the 2014-2015 Capital Improvement Budget and the 2014-2015 through 2018-2019 Capital Improvement Plan will be held at 5:30 p.m. and 5:35 p.m. respectively.

Sadler said the public is welcome to come and comment on the budget and plan which are due to be submitted to the state by March 15. Webster City Mayor Doug Getter said the five-year Capital Improvement Plan looks to anticipate major expenditures the city might encounter.

“It works as a very effective tool for budgeting and is a nice asset for local government,” Getter said. “Many communities across the state do not take that approach and simply work year to year. By using a five-year approach, I think we’re better prepared for the challenges and expenditures that are significant for our community.”

A public hearing on the city releasing a portion of the easement located where Webster City Federal Savings Bank will be building their new facility will also be held at the council’s next meeting. Sadler said that about a month ago, the bank gave the city a new easement where the new sewer line goes. The city will be vacating their easement because the bank will be building on top of it.

“We’ve just traded easements with them on their property,” Sadler said.

That hearing is set for 5:40 p.m. on Feb. 17.

The council went into closed session before adjourning. The City Council agenda said they met in closed session to discuss information relevant to the provision of electric service by the city utility. The session allegedly pertained to confidential and competitive information in records.

Several local cub scouts were in attendance at Monday’s meeting. Getter welcomed Cub Scout Den number 12 to the meeting, who attended as a requirement for their bear badge.