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UPDATE: Council Hires Police Chief Search Firm

Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon City Council has selected a firm to help with the search for a new Police Chief. At Wednesday’s meeting City Manager Sam Kooiker told the council that four of the six firms the city contacted responded with quotes. The council voted to approve Kooiker’s recommendation to choose Cayler Consulting of Carroll, Iowa which, Kooiker says, has a good history of providing consulting services to cities and counties over the past 23 years. Cayler will charge the City $150 per hour plus expenses up to $15,000, but the total will be less than that because the City of Sheldon has already done some of the basic ground work. The candidate selected will replace Lyle Bolkema who is retiring November 27th. A special Council meeting has been set for the 27th at 12:30 for the purpose of administering the Oath of Office to David Dykstra to become Sheldon’s Interim Police Chief.

In other business, the Council acted on a new section to be added to the City Code pertaining to operating budget preparation. The new section is in line with a State law passed this year that establishes a threshold for property tax increases in local governments and adds additional notice requirements and transparency to the budget process. They also acted on updating the City Code to include changes that have been made in the State Code. The last update was twenty years ago. The City can work with Iowa Codification on the project, which could take many months to complete.

And, at Wednesday’s meeting the City Council accepted the resignation of James Lowery who has been Sheldon’s Recreation Coordinator since early this year. His resignation is effective on November 29th.

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Original post 6:22 am 11/21/2019

Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon City Council has voted to move the ordinance change dealing with the use of the first floor of downtown buildings for residential purposes, on to it’s second reading at the next council meeting.  That decision was made after some clarification of one provision of the amendment.  The wording of the provision stated that two parking places must be made available to such a residence.  It was changed to make it clear that this must be off-street parking, and not in a public parking lot.

The Ordinance change regarding the requirement that all residences in the City must use the new type waste containers also was moved to the next council meeting for its third reading.  The change regarding recycling pickup was also moved forward to that date.

City Manager Sam Kooiker reported that there were no valid bids for any of the three abandoned properties that have been offered for sale.  However, at the meeting Kerwin Sterler submitted an offer to purchase the Sunset Motel property.  He offered to purchase the property for one dollar if the city would pay $25,000 to offset the cost of asbestos removal.  Sterler said he would have the asbestos removed, the two wings of the motel and garages leveled and the house repaired to a habitable state.

Kent Lohrenz told the council he had found a contractor who would demolish the property at 428 West Park Street for $12,500.  He would ask the City to pay $8,000, and he would pay $4,500.  The Council asked the City attorney to negotiate with both parties on their offers.  The council was also reminded that a public hearing is required for the sale of any City property.

In other action, the council was presented with quotes for a new ambulance, which is in the budget for the coming fiscal year.  They approved the purchase of the ambulance from Arrow Manufacturing of Rock Rapids for $198,782.00.  Since the trade-in value of the old ambulance is only $6,500, the council agreed to keep it  in service.  This will provide the City with a third ambulance which is needed when the other two are in use. SCAT Director Kevin Miller told the council that they have an adequate number of people on the ambulance team to staff an additional ambulance.

Not all of the city council members could be present at Wednesday’s meeting. As a result, the visit from Lewis and Clark Water Project Executive Director Troy Larsen was postponed until a later date.