Abbie Hansen of Webster City was appointed to serve on the Webster City City Council Monday night during the regular session of the council.
Hansen filled the vacancy created when Brian Miller resigned from his seat effective Feb. 8. Miller had moved outside of the city limits, making him ineligible to serve on the council.
At the last meeting, Council members looked for more information on the costs of a special election for the seat. COuncilman Matt McKinney was the first to suggest the idea of a special
“I’ve given this a lot of thought over the weekend, as we interviewed three separate candidates and feel we have good candidates,” he said at the Feb. 21 meeting. “The more I thought about it, the more I thought we should consider at least looking into the cost of a special election and letting the people choose.”
City Clerk Karyl Bonjour said the county auditor’s office told her the approximate cost of a special election would be between $3,500 and $4,500.
“Essentially, even if we do appoint someone to the office, the public can still request a special election,” said Councilman Logan Welch. “So, we’re really not taking that power out of the community.”
Welch suggested that the council move forward with an appointment and Welch said he was comfortable with that action.
“As you say, there is still an avenue if people want to request a special election,” McKinney said.
The council unanimously voted to appoint Hansen to the seat. Bonjour immediately gave Hansen the oath of office, and Hansen took her seat at the council table.
In other business, the council conducted a public hearing on the maximum tax dollars from certain levies relating to the city’s proposed Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget. With no objections, the council moved to approve a resolution allowing for the city to certify an additional $245,096 which calculates out to a 7.08 percent increase over the current year. For a homeowner with a home assessed at $100,000, that represents an increase of just over $77 in taxes.
The council also set public hearings for March 21 at 6:05 p.m. on the proposed 2022-23 city budget, and on the 2022-23 Capital Improvement budget, and the 2022-2023 through 2026-2027 Capital Improvement Plan.
A three-year farm lease with Brock Miller on city-owned property — 4 parcels totaling 105.77 acres was approved. Ten bids for leasing the property were received and Miller’s bid was $369 per acre.
An agreement with Webster City Daycare for the $10,000 bridge grant approved in January, was approved by the council. City Attorney Zach Chizek said the document could serve as a template for agreements with other organizations that request money from the city.
The council also approved a loan agreement with the daycare for funds up to $97,816 which would be reimbursable from an Investing in Iowa Child Care grant the center has obtained. The IICC grant will provide funds for center upgrades and improvement, but may require upfront payments. The city would provide those funds which would later be reimbursed from the IICC grant.
Mayor John Hawkins also signed a proclamation declaring March 30 as Honey Bee Day in Webster City.
The council also went into closed session to discuss strategy with counsel concerning matters in litigation or where litigation may be imminent. The council all held a closed session to discuss the purchase or sale of real estate.
View this article as it originally appeared in the Daily Freeman-Journal.
Last modified: March 8, 2022