Sheldon City Council Debate and Timeline for Downtown Project

Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon City Council addressed many topics at their meeting Wednesday, but the one that generated the most discussion involved the Sheldon Downtown Infrastructure Project.

This started when they were asked to set the date and time for a public hearing to consider a resolution fixing the date for a meeting on the proposition to authorize a loan agreement and issuance of a General Obligation Capital Loan Note in the amount of One million, five hundred and sixty thousand dollars to finance the downtown project. Council member Ron Rensink asked if approving this would be final approval of the project. He was told that the council would have more opportunities to address changes in the future. It was also mentioned that this financing proposal leaves the door open for a reverse referendum.

But, City Manager Scott Wynja tells KIWA that after further investigation it was found that on January 2nd of this year, the Council voted unanimously in favor of using General Obligation Corporate financing which is NOT subject to a reverse referendum or petition.

So, here’s the timeline for the downtown project. On April 17th the project engineer will conduct a public information meeting at four o’clock. The public is invited to attend and hear details of the work that are planned at this time. At 4:30 the City Council will conduct a public hearing on the proposed downtown property assessments. Everyone who wishes to address matters related to the assessments will be heard. In addition, any letters or e-mails sent to the City will be read. At this meeting the Council will also hold a public hearing on the downtown infrastructure financing plus $930,000 to finance such projects as the deep well, a grader and street repairs.

It will also be necessary for the council to pass a resolution of necessity for the sidewalk and curb work assessments. This requires an affirmative vote of at least 4 of the council members to pass.

The next step for the project would be another public hearing tentatively planned for May 15th. At this time the Council will address the final plans and specifications in preparation for receiving bids. City Manager Scott Wynja tells KIWA that the council will again have an opportunity to make changes in the project at this time. In fact he pointed out that in some cases changes in a project are made after a bid has been approved.

Speaking of changes, during the discussion Wednesday, Council member Greg Geels asked about the removal of trees from the downtown plan. After some discussion Dave Popkes made a motion to include twelve trees in the plan. Four of these at the intersection of Third Avenue and Ninth Street, four more at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street, two at Third Avenue and Tenth Street , and two at Third Avenue and 8th Street. The motion passed with Popkes, Hindt and Geels voting in favor. Rensink and Seehusen voted against the proposal.

We’ll have more City Council news on future newscasts on KIWA Radio.

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