Sheldon Council Considers Increase In Hotel/Motel Tax

Council ChambersSheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon City Council will be considering an increase in the city’s hotel/motel tax after hearing a marketing committee report at their meeting Wednesday.  Heidi Brown, chair of the committee reported on some of the city projects they help support with these tax proceeds.  Some of those are Celebration Days, the Village, Risefest, needed items at the NCC Recreation center and the sports complex.  Brown said the committee is excited about Sheldon’s growth and development, but growth is not free.  They are suggesting that the hotel/motel tax rate be increased from the present five percent to the limit set by the state of seven percent. This would produce an estimated increase of forty thousand dollars a year in receipts.  Council members discussed the possibility of using these additional funds to help with the cost of maintaining the new park as well as other related costs, but it could be used for other projects as well. There were no negative comments about the increase since, as council member Brad Hindt commented, “when people reserve a motel room they don’t ask about the tax rate”.  This would result in an increase of about two or three dollars per night in Sheldon motels.   The council will have a suggested wording for their consideration at their next meeting.  It is possible that the proposal will be on the ballot for the voters this fall.

The council also approved on its first reading an ordinance regarding the mayor’s term in office.  In 1999 the council passed a resolution to increase the mayor’s term from two to four years.  But it was recently discovered that this was never entered in the records as an ordinance.  The council has now corrected that error.

In other business, the council talked about whether or not they wanted to re-apply for the low income housing project that could be available from Excel Development.  Sheldon had reserved ten lots in the Trilogy Addition for this low income project, but because of the many cities who had applied, Sheldon was not selected.  City Manager Scott Wynja told the council they had three choices.  One would be to extend the agreement for another year.  The second option would be to consider a new location such as the north end of Sheldon Crossing, and the third option would be to put the matter on hold.   Wynja mentioned that some communities are having a tough time in filling the housing built by Excel because the guidelines to qualify for this housing are so tight.  The council took no action at this time and is asking for reaction from the development committee. 

The council also approved the applications of Kevin Miller and Brianna Vogelaar as new SCAT members, and the appointment of Christen Nissen to the library board. They also heard a report on a study of the water system and improvements at the waste water treatment plant. 

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