By Steve Peterson
Hawarden Councilors conducted a public hearing for the Hawarden Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program at their July 10 regular meeting.
Hawarden Administrator Gary Tucker said this is a requirement of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program.
“We still hope to be able to give money to rehab three or four homes in the next 30 to 60 days. It’s a great program and has helped many in rehabbing their homes,” said Tucker.
Northwest Iowa Planning Agency’s Carrie Albright attended the hearing.
The city received a HUD grant in 2011 for $232,500 to rehabilitate 10 homes. Seven of the homes have been completed. The program will end March 31, 2014.
“The final three homes are in the pre-construction stage and 100 percent of those funds have benefited low-to-moderate income households,” said Albright.
“We have helped several homes in town and it has made a big impact. The maximum we’re allowed to give is $24,999; anything over that is where the homeowners’ portion comes in,” said Albright.
The public hearing was a chance for citizens to comment on the progress, status and activities to date in the Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program. No members of the public attended.
Typical repairs included roofs, sidings, windows and doors. People participating did have a choice of colors and options.
Councilors do not plan to continue the program after next March. Northwest Iowa Rehabilitation Fund is an option for residents to finance repairs after the Owner-Occupied Program ends.
In other agenda items:
• Held a third reading for an ordinance on Public Water Supply Wellhead Protection, which meets Department of Natural Resources requirements. The ordinance was approved by 5-0 votes at two other hearings as well as on July 10.
• Voted unanimously to approve the RIDES contract for 2013-2014.
“We received a $2,000 anonymous donation for RIDES so the final cost to the city is $4,000,” said Tucker.
“I thank that person for the donation,” said Mayor Ric Porter.
People interested in using the transportation service should call 800-438-5037. The cost is $2 for a one-way trip.
The city will be disseminating information to targeted groups. Information RIDES will provide the city monthly includes number of rides; number of miles driven; and actual allocated costs of service.
• Councilors agreed to pursue the sale of a city-owned lot north of Quick Corner at 1010 Ave. I. A minimum price of $1,500 is being sought.
“I am not aware of any plans the city has for it. We maintain it with mowing and snow removal. A couple of people have expressed interest in it. If we sell it, we can get it back on the property tax rolls,” said Tucker.
“People should be reminded that this is zoned residential,” said Councilor Monte Harvey.
• On the consent agenda a request from Adam Waterman of Main Street Liquors for renewal of a Class E Liquor License for off-premise sales of carry-out liquor, wine and beer with Sunday sales was approved by a 5-0 vote.
Tucker said there has been a problem lately with some garbage customers putting out too much trash to be collected by Independence Waste Inc. haulers.
“Residents have a total of three bags totaling 30 pounds each. It’s up to Independence Waste to tell the city if there is a problem,” said Tucker. “We really would like to encourage people to use recycling. If they wish to have extra bags, they can pick up a tag to place on them for $1.50. It’s the reasonableness. I would encourage a conversation with Ireton and Akron with this service.”
While the other towns use the same landfill, they have different waste haulers than Hawarden.
• Regarding the Central Avenue planned improvement project for 10th to 16th Streets, Tucker, in response to a question from Harvey, said there is a performance bond for the project of 10 percent plus a $150 to $200 a day penalty clause.
• Councilor Tim Kurth reported Big Sioux River Valley Historical Society (BSRVHS) will be conducting an online auction soon to raise funds for restoration of the former Hawarden City Hall. A meeting will take place at Hawarden City Offices at 7 p.m., July 23 to plan for the auction. Items sought may be celebrity autographed collectibles; antiques; art work; quilts; pottery or various gift certificates or more.
• Hawarden Councilors meet at 5:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at Hawarden City Offices, Council Chambers Room. Meetings are open to the public. The next meeting will be July 24.