City workers catching up after May snow storm
Cleaning up after the May snowstorm changed Corydon city workers’ schedule for several days, including postponing spring clean-up, city supervisor Dave Cusic told the city council at their May 6 meeting. Cusic said spring clean-up of residents’ trash would soon be completed. His crew has been working on a lot of trees that came down due to the weight of the snow and can’t get to the mowing right now, but will catch up on that.
Cusic said city workers, with assistance from Tim Swan, who is mowing the cemetery, collected two and a half pickup loads of flowers and containers from Corydon Cemetery. They picked up everything that was not on the stones, Cusic said, which is the way city ordinance reads. This will alleviate the problem of artificial flower material being shredded and blown around the cemetery.
He also reported low spots over casket locations “worse than ever” and a lot of grave stones tipping, due to last year’s drought. He has been putting in fill dirt on graves and the city will be contracting with someone to straighten the stones.
Council Member Eric Jaeckel asked Cusic about a cave-in accident that happened during work on a sewer line and urged Cusic to practice and enforce strict safety policies.
Alyssa Donahue brought an estimate from Lockridge Lumber Company of costs for fencing needed to enclose an area for a dog park at Walden Park, as requested by the council at an earlier meeting. She said $1,000 would probably cover initial costs, due to a donation by the school of fencing from around the football field and donated labor. She also showed the council a receptacle for “doggy bags” she had made with PVC pipe donated by Clayton Plumbing and Heating. Council member Clint Carpenter asked about costs to the city for future maintenance at the dog park and was assured enough donations will come in as needed so the dog park would not be additional cost to the city.
Corydon Mayor Rod Parham said there have been requests for more lighting at the city-owned basketball court that the Lions Club and Corydon Community Betterment constructed in April 2009, with financial assistance from Wayne Community Foundation and Alliant Energy Foundation. A donation of a 400 watt flood light with a photo cell and another donation of someone willing to pay the electricity bill every month means the court could soon have the additional light. The council agreed the court is good for the community, as a lot of people use it. The search is on for a pole for the light.
Corydon Fire Chief Roger Carpenter told the council the new fire truck is completely finished and “worked like a charm” when used at a shed fire May 5 at Zach Robinson’s farm.
City Clerk Ann Stevens told the council the insurance premium did not include insurance on the lift stations or the lagoon aeration system. Those items are now insured, which will increase even more what seemed like very high premiums. It was noted those systems are all quite susceptible to a big lightning strike.
No visitors were present for the public hearing to consider an amendment to the current city budget, and no written or oral comments were received prior to the meeting. The council approved the amendment as published.
Two more public hearings were set, both for May 22.
“We’ve accepted the bid, now we have to have a public hearing,” Parham said of the sale of the former City Hall property located at 205 S. East St. Terry Dudley had the high bid on the property.
The second public hearing will be concerning City Ordinance 315, which amends the Corydon Municipal Code and will increase the charges to turn water on, off or reconnect it from the current $15 to $25.
The council heard overtime in the most recent pay period was 11.7 hours at a cost of $318.93.
May 14, 2013, 07:40
Nuisance abatement letters on the way
Spring cleanup has been underway for the City of Allerton; big ticket items and other miscellaneous junk have been picked up the past few days by city employees and hauled away to the landfill.
The council members now turn their attention to the remainder of the eyesores in the city. More than 20 nuisance issues were cited and the city clerk has been authorized to send out abatement letters. Residents will have 20 days from the time they are issued the letters to resolve the nuisance or further action will be taken. The council has said that anyone who believes they have been sent a letter by mistake will have a chance for rebuttal before any further action is taken.
Since no one within the city limits applied for a demolition car permit, the city will no longer allow junk vehicles, which in the past have been labeled as demo cars, to be kept within city limits. City policy states that the first season that no one applies for a permit will be the end of allowing anyone to have a demo car in the city.
The water quality report was viewed and discussed in preparation for publication.
It was reported that the city received $3,800 in grant funds from Wayne Community Foundation for repair to the city basketball court. The board voiced appreciation for the funding.
A $100 donation was given to the city from the Men’s Breakfast group; proceeds are to be used for the Centennial Building.
A request was granted for a new business start-up, in the form of a barbeque wagon, to be allowed to conduct business along Central Avenue. The equipment is portable and will not need a power source to operate. Placement is yet to be determined by the business owners.
The recent heavy snow slowed down spring progress for city workers; however they reported they were nearly back on track in preparations to the Allerton Cemetery and city cleanup as well as catching up with most of the mowing on city property.
A report of erosion at the south sewer lagoon prompted the council to have an inspection of the structure to see what measures need to be pursued to make sure the city maintains a safe and effective system.
A liquor license renewal was approved for First Stop convenience store.
Beginning within the next two weeks will be a new city employee, hired as road superintendent. Randy Roe will commence filling the position on a trial basis and if satisfactory will become the new superintendent July 1.
The council implemented a new policy concerning sick days and insurance caps. It has been several years since the policy has been visited and the council felt it was time to update. They eliminated carry-over sick days and set a cap on insurance premium assistance.
The next Allerton City Council meeting will be held June 4, at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
May 14, 2013, 07:39
Heading to state track meet
Wayne Community will have at least two athletes competing in the State Track meet this week, and possibly more.
Breanna Fortune placed first in discus at Districts, with a throw of 101’9” and first in shotput with 35’9”. This will be her second year to compete at State in both events.
Dillon Lain earned a trip to State with a first place win in high jump, clearing the bar at 5’10”. He went to State last year as part of Wayne’s shuttle hurdle relay.
Also participating at the state track meet will be Wayne’s 4x800 team of Katie Campbell, Olivia Byrns, Mandie Gassman and Amanda Collyar who finished second at Districts; Mandie Gassman will compete in the long jump; and Sylvia Nickell finished second in shot put and discus with her best throws of the season will be throwing the shot at the state track meet. Campbell was second in the 400-meter dash but did not qualify and the Wayne girls track team placed third at Districts, their best finish in more than 10 years.
May 14, 2013, 07:34
Visitors spur interest in Medicine Creek
Three members of the WHOA (Wayne County Horse Owners Alliance) met April 29 with the Wayne County Board of Supervisors, to discuss the Medicine Creek Wetlands and whether there had been any movement forward in allowing trail riding to be part of the overall plan for the wetlands going forward.
The supervisors listened to the request and the questions that followed and directed the group to stay interested and when Conservation has obtained a new director the issue will be visited once more. The board explained that interviews are currently being conducted in the expectation that new personnel will be in place by July 1.
The supervisors approved a measure that would allow the county treasurer to abate past taxes on a property in which a change of title resulted in a hardship for the current owner and the new title owner is asking for time to get the issue resolved.
Another property abated involved a sale where past taxes were not collected and the new property owner claims the past taxes are not part of his responsibility. Because the bulk of the past taxes were the result of unpaid utility bills from the city where it is located, and actually does not affect the county in a negative way, the abatement was approved.
Supervisors discussed with Trevor Wolf, the county engineer, a complaint from Lucas County about debris, which was the result of cut and ground up trees, floating down one of their ditches and clogging the road tube. The action, according to Lucas County, has caused the tube to become plugged, not allowing flowing water to get through the tube opening.
The engineer discussed with the supervisors the upcoming plans to move the secondary roads employees to a 10-hour, four-day per week schedule. The same thing was done the past summer and, according to records kept by the engineer’s office, it causes less wasted work hours than the five-day schedule does.
More discussion was held concerning the refund money from WRD for the recycle program. The supervisors will set a meeting with city officials to discuss a proposal for dispensing the funds back to the county for recycle.
County Sanitarian Bill Yeager presented pictures of a dead cow, which was discovered along the roadway of Jubilee Road, east of Highway S40. The cow appeared to be in the process of birthing and it is suspected she was disposed of in this manner after her death. This is the second such episode that has occurred in the recent past. Yeager said he will pursue the mystery and see if it can be established who the animal belongs to.
Boards and commissions attended include: Bill Alley—Courthouse security meeting, Public Health, Conservation interviews, HAZMAT, Wayne County Hospital concerning the future of IHCC, 10-15 Transit and helped pour concrete at the county fair grounds; John Sellers—Courthouse security meeting, Wayne County Economic Development and Southern Iowa Response group; Duffy Kester—DCAT, KFC, Public Health joint meeting with Appanoose County, HAZMAT, SENECA, Wayne County Hospital concerning future of IHCC, visited the Amish community about roadways, courthouse security meeting, met with representative about re-work for the courthouse roof and Mental Health.
The next Wayne County Board of Supervisors’ meeting will be held May 13, at 9 a.m., at the Wayne County Courthouse, in the supervisor’s office.
May 7, 2013, 07:33
Berndt is entrepreneurial educator of the year
Wayne Community High School's Holly Berndt was honored as the entrepreneurial educator of the year at the Second Annual Vision Awards held April 25 at Indian Hills Community College.
The Vision Awards were created to help honor entrepreneurship in Indian Hills’ 10-county region. The college selects individuals and businesses that are great examples of the entrepreneurial spirit that can be found in southeast Iowa.
Berndt, who teaches business and computer classes at Wayne, says the entrepreneurship section of her Intro to Business class is one of her favorite classes to teach. After the class studies several areas, such as the economics of running a business and types of businesses, Berndt devotes the final four weeks of the Intro to Business course to helping students develop a business plan they could possibly do right now. Students research their target market, locate vendors and figure finances. She hopes to add an evaluation of the business plan from a banker's perspective in future classes.
Berndt also has students working in community businesses in a Career Study program. Her Workplace Readiness class is a prerequisite for Career Study. Students may take Workplace Readiness in their junior or senior years. In addition to classroom studies, Workplace Readiness students tour local businesses and industries, where they hear what expectations and policies that workplace has, including dress codes, absenteeism and timeliness policies and work qualifications.
Only seniors may enroll in the Career Study program. Students choose which career they would like to study and arrangements are made for the student to spend two class periods, or 90 minutes, each school day at the business. Berndt asks the business to treat the student as they would an entry level employee.
"The businesses have been great," Berndt says. "Students get to actually experience the job on a day-to-day basis, and find out if it is something they really want to do. It's amazing what they get to see and do that they wouldn't otherwise."
Students are not paid for the work, but they do receive high school credits. In addition to the hours spent at work, students have written assignments and discussions to reflect on the experience. Business owners provide evaluations of the students which gives feedback on their job performance.
The Career Study program started slowly, with only two students the first term. Word soon got around, and Berndt has more senior students wanting to participate each term. Currently, students are placed at an auto body shop, both veterinary clinics in Corydon, the hospital, the school and at a children's clothing store. The elementary school and hair salons have also been part of the program in the past. Berndt anticipates the program will continue to grow, and plans to spend time this summer researching other ways she can help students explore the world of entrepreneurship.
Other winners of IHCC Vision Awards include Josh Bear of Derby, who won the Indian Hills Alumni Entrepreneur award. Bear, a graduate of the college’s Automotive Technology program, owns Kar Knuts, a full-service automobile repair business in Derby. Bear has gained a reputation for the top quality and honesty that he provides in his business.
Mitch Goudy, a senior at Fairfield High School and owner and operator of MTG DJ Service, was selected as the student entrepreneur of the year.
The Little Bake Shop, owned by Melissa Little, was chosen as the new business of the year. This business began in Little’s home and expanded into a storefront in downtown Ottumwa last year.
Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., of Fairfield won the entrepreneurial business award. With more than 30 years in the financial services industry, Cambridge has recently experienced phenomenal growth bringing hundreds of jobs to their home office in Fairfield. Cambridge has also been named as one of the top places to work in Iowa by the Des Moines Register.
Joe Crookham, president and principal owner of Musco Lighting of Oskaloosa, was honored for his long-time entrepreneurial efforts with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
May 7, 2013, 07:32
© 2005 Corydon Times