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City orders replacement traffic light

By Travis Fischer,

The Charles City Council discussed property tax rollbacks, filled board vacancies, and ordered a new traffic light during its regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 6.

At the meeting, the council approved appointments to fill vacancies and replace outgoing members on two community boards. Filling a long running vacancy on the Board of Adjustment, the council appointed Bob Kloberdanz to the seat. Council members also selected Emily Kiewel and Carla Winterink to serve on the Hotel/Motel Steering Committee.

In new business, the council approved an annual agreement with the Department of Inspection and Appeals for assistance with fraud investigations. The 28E agreement allows the Charles City Housing & Redevelopment Authority to refer fraud investigations to the DIA with the potential for a prorated rate as those investigations can overlap with the Department of Human Services.

“Last year we spent $86 total with them. It’s a really inexpensive way to do it,” said Housing Director Katie Nolte. “They’re a great resource.”

The council also approved a final payment of $4,651.40 to Kamm Excavating for completing work on the 2022 Lime Residual Disposal Project. The final cost of the project totaled $93,028.

And finally for new business, the council approved a quote from K&W Electric to replace the traffic signal on the corner of Gilbert and Main Street, which has been hit by traffic over the years and which recently had been hit again. The light had to be removed and has been replaced with a temporary signal.

“It was to the point where we had to take action to replace it,” said City Administrator Steve Diers.

Replacing the traffic light with a new one, which will be placed farther back out of the way of traffic, will cost between $42,900 and $47,400 and is expected to arrive in about six months.

In reports, Diers noted that the public hearing to approve this year’s levy rate was taken off of the meeting’s agenda due to ongoing discussions in the state Legislature to adjust an error in property tax rollback rates.

“The state is currently trying to figure out what that rollback percentage is going to be,” said Diers.

The current plan in Des Moines would adjust the rollback rate by 1.8%, ultimately reducing how much taxable valuation the city could levy against. In practical terms, it would amount to roughly $26,000 less in expected revenues, though Diers did say there have been talks about the state backfilling that amount for this year.

“Not sure what that’s going to be yet,” said Diers. “Hopefully we’ll have a clearer idea at the next workshop.”

City Hall will be closed on Monday, Feb. 20, for President’s Day and the normally scheduled meeting for that week will be pushed to Tuesday, Feb. 21.

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