The land in question is adjacent to the city cemetery and is designated to be a part of the cemetery when needed in the future. This property has been in alfalfa for quite a few years. But, the council was told a few weeks ago that the alfalfa stand was getting weak and the council approved a lease which would allow it to be used for corn or soybeans for a few years before returning it to alfalfa.
Tom Whorley was the first to address the council with several concerns. He recalled that the last time corn was grown in that field they had cornstalks blowing all around the area in the fall. He also had concerns about the chance of a field fire spreading to their homes and the danger of chemicals used in the field drifting to their property. He asked the council to reconsider the lease agreement.
Rod Fonkert had the same concerns and asked if the person leasing the ground had insurance to cover fire or spray damage. After several other residents followed with similar questions and comments, council member Ron Rensink told the group that the council had made a mistake, not realizing the problems that could result from their action. He suggested this be made an agenda item at a future meeting so it could be discussed and action taken. City Manager Scott Wynja stated that the person who leased the land is willing to work with the council if a change in the lease is needed. Since the field work has already begun the council felt it was important that action be taken soon and the special meeting was set for Monday, May 6th at noon.
During one of the four public hearings at Wednesday’s meeting Jill Collen asked the council to make an addition to the plat for the new Sheldon Crossing development. The plan calls for a street headed south from the proposed residential area extended along the east side of the Rosenboom property, then turning to the west connecting with Country Club Road. Collen told the council she would like to see this street also proceed south behind the Letner-Groot, Andringa and Collen properties. She said this would make it possible for them to develop residential lots in that area. The council was hesitant to make changes in the plat at this late date, but pointed out this could be added at any time. In addition, at least one council member mentioned that they would have to hear from all three property owners before any plans for the future could be addressed.
We’ll have more city council news on future KIWA newscasts.