Sheldon, IA — Now that the city of Sheldon is beginning plans for residential development plus a park area in Sheldon Crossing, they also want adequate recreational trail access to the area. The Trails committee reports they are concerned about the inability of trail users to safely access the eight foot trail section that goes past Drenkow Motors. Persons have to use Country Club Road itself or private sidewalks that are too narrow. Pete Hamill told the City Council Wednesday that after considerable discussion the trails committee was in unanimous agreement that a ten foot trail should be placed from Highway 18 to East 9th street on the west side of Country Club Road.
He explained that a ten foot trail is usually required in order to get grant money for the project. Otherwise, an 8 foot trail would be adequate. Everyone agreed that if such a trail was placed immediately adjacent to the road it would be hazardous. This means it would have to be located in the area of the sidewalks.
There was a question of whether or not the city would have the right of way on the properties involved. Public Works Director Todd Uhl told the council he felt that they would have the right of way. But Council members weren’t too supportive of the whole idea. Other ideas came up including putting the trail on the east side of the road . Ron Rensink who lives in that area commented that, “if you put it on the west side of the road those people are not going to be happy and if you put it on the east side they are not going to be happy. Waiting to make a decision later will not change that.” The Council asked Hamill to take the problem back to the trails committee. They meet the third Thursday of every month at seven p.m.
The council also debated how to fund a commitment they want to make to assist Children’s World. In their budget session they agreed on one hundred thousand dollars over three years. There was a question of how much of that would be paid out of Local Option Sales Tax Funds, and if they should tap into the Hotel-Motel tax income which is normally handed over to the marketing committee. Dave Popkes said he felt they should take it all from the Sales Tax Fund, but some objected because this would use money which is usually set aside for emergencies. Ron Rensink said that since the Hotel-Motel tax has grown from thirty thousand a year to ninety thousand, the Marketing Committee does not need it all. Brad Hindt commented that Marketing does a lot of good things with their money.,
Duane Seehusen made a motion to dedicate 30 percent of the Hotel-Motel tax to Childrens World for a set period of three years. This motion was defeated. Greg Geels pointed out that they had not even talked to the Marketing Committee. His motion to discuss the matter with Marketing and also bring up the possibility of raising the Hotel-Motel tax from five to seven percent passed on a four to one vote with Rensink voting no. In the meantime the budget will show the money is coming from the Local Option Sales Tax, and if Hotel-Motel tax money is dedicated to Children’s World those dollars will be moved to the Sales Tax fund.
In other business, the council approved Nathan White for the fire department and Pat Meester as the City representative on the Northwest Iowa Regional Housing Authority Board. They also approved an agreement with the Iowa D.O.T. for the Country Club Road and East 9th Street project, approved an increase in the fees for zoning permits, and set February 20th as the date for public hearings on the Trilogy Plat and the 2013-2014 fiscal year budget.