Roland council approves architect services for library

Todd ThorsonStaff Writertthorson@storycityherald.com

The Roland Council discussed several issues at its Wednesday, April 20 regular meeting, including the approval of architectural services for the Roland Public Library. Steve Olson was present to address the library’s need for more space, stating that large groups of children 30 to 70 at times, are now using and attending the library and its various programs. And because of this increase of use, the library is looking into remodeling the back room into a climate controlled space.

Olson presented a proposed $6,500 to $7,400 architect fee to the council, with funds to come from the trust fund, as well as the library foundation. The council, following discussion, approved the architectural services request, which will take three to four weeks to initiate and complete.

Also present were Deb and Ben Benefield, who were objecting to a parking violation they received at 201 South Main, for a boat that has been parked in front of their property. The Roland Council had recently initiated a crack down on parking violations for vehicles and RVs, as well as other types of vehicles/trailers, parked in the street for more than 48 hours. Warnings are initially issued before a final ticket is given by the Story County Sheriff’s Department.

The Benefields were refuting the ticket, stating they had been parking the boat there for many years without any violations being issued.

Mayor Jerry Balmer reiterated that the city needed to start enforcing the city’s ordinances by issuing warnings before tickets are written.

Council members Jerry Zanzow and Larry Ford questioned being lenient on parking violations, and council member Andy Webb suggested the council take a closer look at the ordinances and how they are worded. The concensus of the council was to take a look at a possible amendment to the city ordinance concerning parking and place the issue on the May 4 council agenda. They will discuss the possible waiver of the Benefield’s ticket violation at the next council meeting.

The mil rate for the local Howard Township fire department was also discussed. Mayor Balmer reported he had attended a recent firemen’s meeting at Ellsworth and found that their mil rate was considerably lower and hadn’t been raised in 25 years. Roland, which serves Howard, part of Milford and part of Scott Townswhip, all have different mil rates. Each township supposedly sets their respective mil rate valuations and some of the townships are not in line with others. Howard charges .034999 per valuation, while Milford and Scott are set at .06750. Ellsworth would like to have the rates to be uniform with other townships. The issue will continue to be addressed.

In other business, the council:

—heard a report from the Streets Department and Harold Hovick;

—heard a report from the Water/Wastewater Department and Nathan Hovick. Nathan reported that the tornado siren was hit by lightning recently and that it will cost $4,000 to $5,000 to repair or $20,000 to replace. Council approved the repair of the siren with the expense paid from the annual maintenance fund. Nathan also discussed the purchase of a second riding mower. The mower purchase will be placed on the May 4 agenda;

—heard a report from City Clerk Jodi Meredith concerning the transfer of ownership of the community building from the RADC to the City of Roland. Formal deed transfer is in the works, with further discussion scheduled for the May 2 RADC meeting, as well as the May 4 council meeting. Meredith also reported there have been 10 applicants for the part-time city hall position. Meredith will handle the interviews and the hiring of the new employee at a later date;

—approved a new audit contract for the next three fiscal years to Schnurr & Company of Ames;

—heard a report on the Waterwater Sewer project easements from Jordan Koppes. There are still three outstanding easements yet to be signed and returned, and the council set a May 3 deadline before condemnation occurs;

—discussed a new roof for the community building, which will cost between $30,000 and $50,000. A call to Central States Roofing in Ames was suggested.