Roland council discusses long term future planning

Todd ThorsonStaff Writertthorson@storycityherald.com

The Roland City Council discussed the recently returned appraisals for the two unsigned easements for the Samson Street Sanitary Sewer Project at its regular council meeting held Wednesday, July 20 in the community center.

The residential appraisal came back higher than the city expected, and the engineer Veenstra & Kimm does not agree with the tree valuation on the property. The appraisers were unable to accurately place a value on the trees due to the property owner refusing to allow access to the property.

Council members Aaron Burres and Larry Ford also reported that they had met with Lon Strum concerning his agricultural property. Strum is agreeable to the easement and has stated he will sign it as soon as contractor J & K completes various work they had previously agreed to do for him. It was also reported that Strum would want more money for his potential crop loss.

However, the crop loss had already been calculated for five years. It was also figured as only a portion of the easement because only a part of the property is tillable.

Council reiterated that they would like J & K and Strum to resolve their issues so that the project can move forward in a smooth and timely fashion.

Burres and Ford then stated that they will plan to meet with Strum again to find out what he specifically wants in the easement, and to get something in writing so that the city has something to work with.

Roland-Story Library Foundation members Heather Slifka and Rick Dewald were also present at the meeting to express their desire to be a part of any of the city’s long-term future planning. They also reported on the progress of the library’s remodeling project in the back portion of the library building.

Mayor Jerry Balmer mentioned that the city is possibly looking at a new city hall and fire station, and that the Foundation’s lot would be an ideal location. However, Slifka and Dewald would not comment on behalf of the Foundation on whether they would consider their lot for that type of project. They felt that the Foundation would, however, want to be included in such a project, if a new library and community space would be included in the same facility. This would allow more use out of one new location.

The future planning discussion was just preliminary, and further discussions will ensue at future meetings.

In other business, the council:

—approved the board appointments for Mike Risdal, Board of Adjustment (3 yr. term); Bruce Gauly and Tempest Kuykendall, Library Board (3 yr. terms); Jennifer Drew, Pool Board (3 yr. term); Tony Gustafson, Planning and Zoning (5 yr. term); Mindi Balmer and Jeremy Heaberlin, Park Board (3 yr. term);

—approved the estimate from Central States Roofing of Ames to replace the roof on City Hall in the amount of $31,760;

—discussed a fencing issue with the residents of 102 West Maple. A building permit was not obtained and the fence is not made of compliant materials, so the city had sent a letter to the residents concerning this issue. The property owners will need to obtain a building permit and the city plans to discuss the fencing material at the next council meeting on August 3;

—discussed if there is a need for building permits and inspections on pre-manufactured storage sheds over 96 sq. ft. Signage in the right of way and parking areas for sale and non-operational vehicles in the right of way were also discussed. Council will continue this discussion August 3;

—agreed for Mayor Balmer and Council member Jerry Zamzow to meet with the RADC again to modify and simplify the community center agreement to switch ownership over to the city;

—learned that work is continuing on the control panel at the lift station and the sump collector line and storm intakes on Ryan Circle.