Sheldon Residents will soon have the option of paying their City Utility bills with their credit card. At their Wednesday meeting the City Council voted to sign a contract with Government Payment services that will make this possible. City Manager Scott Wynja told the council that many communities are using the services of this company with good results. There will be no charge to the city for accepting credit card payments but there will be an extra charged added to the cardholders bill. For example, a utility bill of fifty dollars will be charged a $1.50 service fee. City Clerk Angela Beckman says it will probably be about a month before this service is available. The public will be notified when they are ready to accept credit cards for utility bill payments. Cardholders will be able to use their card in person at the City Office, use a link on the City’s website, or pay via the telephone. Residents will still have the option to pay by check, cash or direct bank withdrawal.
In other business, the council voted to replace many of the city’s street lights with LED bulbs. Mid-American Energy is replacing 53 metal poles because of their deteriorating condition and with the City’s approval will fit them with LED lights at no extra cost. There are 80 other poles that are not being replaced, but will be changed to LED at a cost to the city of one hundred dollars per light. This cost will be recouped in about two years because the city will save about $4,300 per year in their electricity bill. There was some concern among council members that the LED lights are brighter than those currently in use, but cover a smaller area. But, the idea of saving money brought the council to a unanimous decision to replace them all with LED bulbs.
The council also heard an update on the Sheldon Crossing Community Park Master Plan with much of the discussion centered on the proposed Lodge. The twelve to fourteen thousand square foot Lodge would accommodate from three to four hundred people for special events. The South side of the Lodge would overlook the water area. The council voted to have RDG Planning and Design move forward with refining their plan including projected costs. It is thought this could be in the 3.5 to four million dollar range. Tax Increment Financing funds could be used for this, but the city will also apply for grants and do other fund raising.
The council also approved Ashley Elgersma as a new SCAT member and Evan Grell as a new member of the fire department. And, they set April 15th at 4:30 as the time and place for a Public Hearing on a street improvement project.