LS Council learns of $50K donation from Don Wilken


Lime Springs - Lime Springs City Council learned that several city departments received funds from the will of Don Wilken, at the May 2 council meeting. Four areas received $12,500 each for a total of $50,000, playground equipment, softball teams, swimming pool and library.
Councilman Brian Johnson wondered if each of the groups could give $2,500 to Community Club/150th Committee to help with the 2018 Sesquicentennial event. He was told since the money was specified for those areas, it had to be used for the reasons given.
• In other business from the meeting, Jesse Stevens of LimeSprings Beef reported on the opening of the beef plant. “I should have an open date announcement by next month’s meeting.” He noted it was about an eight-week process after signing papers with a new investor before the plant could open.
The business plan is the original one, not the one used when the facility opened a year ago. There will be 55 employees at full capacity and it will be a custom kill business.
As for the investors, Stevens did not give a name, but did say they were four brothers who are successful in farming and raising cattle.
“Everyone who invested in stock is in full and lenders are getting paid.”
Mayor Kevin Bill asked how much water the facility anticipated using. Stevens said the business shouldn’t put a strain on the City and water will discharge into the ditch as was previously planned.
“We want to do 80 head a day. That’s what the plant was designed for.
Public Works Director Casey Sebastian noted the amount of water mentioned should be a “piece of cake” to manage, as April saw just 40,000 gallons being used.
• Rich Jones attended the meeting to question the bidding process for the electrical update on the generator and control panel at the sewer plant.
It was explained Bolton & Menk told Sebastian he didn’t have to go public with bids; he could just contact two companies. He contacted companies the City has worked with in the past. 
Jones saw that bids were being sought and approached the City to submit a bid. One of those three bids will be approved at the June 6 meeting.
• Sebastian reported the City Engineers, Bolton & Menk, are looking at what is the most economical way to put geothermal into the fire station/community center.
• Thomas Hiniker’s permit for a shop building was approved.
• Ross Merritt of Hawkeye Sanitation approached Council about the expiring contract for waste and recycling removal. “It will be a continuation of what we have now. Pricing is the same, with a two percent increase each year.
• With Lime Springs’ 150th celebration coming up in 2018, Council is looking to have a City-Wide Clean-up. Members are still determining whether to have one this year and/or next year and/or have it curbside pickup or a set location to take the excess debris. There is currently about $18,000 in the clean-up budget.
Bill also mentioned getting a list of all the unlicensed automobiles on private property and ask the owners to have them licensed or removed.
• Fire Chief Nate Schwickerath gave his report. The department received $3,000 from Howard County Community Foundation for turnout gear, which puts the group close to having all new gear. 
In addition, the trucks are getting services; there are 18 fire fighters on the roster, making it open for two more; there was a false alarm the night before at Hilltop Apartments; and upcoming fundraisers include June 13 Elma Golf Tournament, Father’s Day breakfast and Sweet Corn Days breakfast.
He also mentioned a burn trailer training some of the members of the team participated in at Chester.
Secretary Barb Robinson then explained a new Fire Board was established on April 25. There are five oversight members, two will be on for two years and three will be on for five years. They include Matthew Leverson and  Tom Roberts (two) and Nate Widell, Mike Leverson and Robinson (five).
“The board’s main goal will be protect and oversee the trust fund, provide ideas to the fire department on what is needed and approve expenditures.” Robinson spoke with a representative of the Iowa League of Cities to make sure having all members of the fire department on the board was legal. “He said, ‘Firemen are the best ones to be on the board. They know what the fire department needs and they know the rules and regulations.’”
• Becky Pahl spoke on behalf of the Library Board. The facility is putting in air conditioning and providing the Memorial Day luncheon. 
• The Community Center received a grant and will purchase a Bingo machine and use one toward a new heating system.
The previous evening, there were about 30 individuals playing Bingo.
• The pool board was happy to have the council approve 11 lifeguards. Council member Jimmy Miller said, “The last few years we’ve been fighting for five!”
The pool will open June 5.
In addition, D.J. Miller is the coach for softball.  
• Sebastian told Council Bolton & Menk is working on a facility plan for DNR, which needs to be submitted around Aug. 1.
West Franklin street improvement will not begin until after planting season. 
West Jackson street improvement will begin later this summer.
The City is looking at getting a new mower. It currently has a new one, plus the old one that needs to be replaced. 
• Todd Mensink reported the 150th Committee has met twice and is moving foward with raising funds and making plans.
• Items still under consideration of the council include improvements to 118 E. Jackson St.; the alleyway behind the David Lepa home; the retaining wall at Johnson Farms; Title issues with the Rex Tibbals property; and solar panels.
• A public hearing for a budget amendment is being held on May 23 at 6 p.m. at the Community Center.
The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, June 6 at 7 p.m.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

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214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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