Sheldon, Iowa — Wednesday’s Sheldon City Council meeting saw a long discussion on the use of fireworks at the Crossroads Pavilion Event Center.
The Pavilion Board had recommended that fireworks be allowed only under the services of a licensed professional with at least six million dollars in insurance. That insurance amount was chosen because if a mishap occurred it would cover the total value of the event center building. The firm they recommended was J&M Displays of Yarmouth, Iowa, who already handle many area fireworks displays including the Village Northwest event, and they have a ten million dollar insurance policy. Joel Bousema who owns a fireworks sales venue in Sheldon, told the council that a company that he works with could also do the event center fireworks, but they only have a two million dollar insurance policy. Bousema said that neither that company nor J&M have never had significant claims, therefore the amount of insurance shouldn’t be a major factor. When it came time to vote, Council member Brad Hindt made a motion to prohibit any use of fireworks at the Pavilion. Hindt’s motion died for lack of a second. When a motion was made to approve fireworks for the three specific dates this year, both Hindt and Broesder voted against it, with Eggers and Hamill voting in favor. Therefore the motion did not pass since under State Law the Mayor cannot vote to break a tie.
In other business, the council took no action on the status of the H.C. Lane building because they were told that all the materials had been ordered and work will start in ten days to two weeks. The council voted to approve Phase One of the Crossroads North project, with bid opening set for June 14th. They also approved the updating of the Fire Protection Agreements with the townships of Carroll and Floyd in O’Brien County and Grant and Lynn in Sioux County. The amounts these townships pay for this service have not been updated since 1999.
There was also a first reading of two changes for water users in Sheldon. One is a proposed four percent raise in rates for the coming fiscal year. The other is a change in how water use billing and late notices will be handled. If approved at future readings, the ordinance will change the date of billing to read “last business day of each month” to correspond with current procedure. It also provides that payment of the water bills will be due the 22nd of the month. Reminder notices will no longer be sent out. If the bill is not paid by the 22nd, disconnect notices will be delivered or mailed on the 23rd. Disconnects will be due on the 25th. If not paid by the 25th, the water will be shut off on the 26th.
Since the City of Sheldon has 17 different bank accounts, City Manager Sam Kooiker has suggested sending ‘Requests for Proposals’ to Sheldon’s four banks and one credit credit union with the prospect of receiving higher interest on taxpayer funds. The council gave their approval to that idea. No Requests for Proposal will be sent to banks outside of the Sheldon City Limits.
In other action, the council also gave the City Manager and City Attorney authority to develop a procedure for the disposition of City owned property. This would include the DJ’s Redemption building, Sunset Motel and property at 1023 Garfield Avenue.
And, the council passed a resolution concerning employee participation in the cost of their Health Insurance. In the past the city paid one hundred percent of the premiums for non-union employees. Effective July 1st these employees will pay five percent of their insurance premiums. The amount union employees contribute will continue to be 15 percent.