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Council Holds Public Hearing On Mobile Home Destroyed In Easter Sunday Blaze

Sheldon, Iowa — When a fire ravaged the trailer home of Kevin Crafton at 1320 South 3rd Avenue in Sheldon, it was considered a total loss….but Crafton told the Sheldon City Council Wednesday that he is a musician and an artist and he views the remnants from the fire as art.

He also said that he plans to live in the part of trailer that remains standing. Crafton is now living at the site without any utilities. The City has ordered him to have the premises cleared by August 5th.  Crafton responded by asking for a public hearing, where he stated that he needed more time to get that done. But, he would not set a timeline for the completion and could not come up with a cost estimate for the work. Kerwin Sterler told the council that this comes at a time when they are working to clean up that part of town, and a letter from a neighbor echoed that concern. Following the hearing, the council voted to affirm the notice with the August 5th deadline. Crafton told the council that the trailer was his boyhood home, and was not insured.

In other business, the council approved a resolution that changed the residency requirements for the Public Works and Police Department full time employees. Under the new rules, Public Works personnel are required to live within three and a half miles of City Hall, with Police officers being required to live within 25 miles. The Chief of Police, as well as full-time fire and ambulance personnel, must also live within three and a half miles of City Hall. City manager Sam Kooiker told the council that even though employees are living outside of Sheldon they are expected to be at work on time. He also noted that the employment manual is quite outdated and further ‘refinements’ are expected.

The council voted to approve zoning amendments for the former Sunset motel area and the adjacent mobile home park. And, they heard a report that only 70 customers have not yet purchased one of the new garbage containers, which is a better response than had been expected. There will be follow-up contacts with those who have not complied with the new ordinance.

The Council accepted the resignation of Police Officer Brian Wielenga, who is retiring August 1st after nearly 32 years of service. They also heard a report on plans for “Shop With a Cop,” which will be held July 21st and 22nd.

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