Housing Department receives substantial grant

By Kelly Terpstra, kterpstra@charlescitypress.com

The Charles City Housing and Redevelopment Authority received a Community Development Block Grant for $232,700 at a regular City Council meeting on Monday.

The council approved accepting the grant, which is slated to help rehab six houses and also featured a local match of $13,800 to raise the total amount of the grant to $246,500. Only $6,000 of the local match requires cash by the city. Each of the six projects is budgeted to receive $23,999, plus the city’s $1,000 supplement to cover construction costs.

“It’s a fantastic program that will really benefit the community,” said Charles City Administrator Steve Diers.

The council also approved the application by the city for the the Federal Recreation Trail Grant, which would help fund the Charley Western Trail Bridge Project. That grant has a maximum award of $400,000.

Diers said this is the third of four grants that the city is working on this fall. He also said it’s the biggest grant of the four, but the most competitive.

“What we’ll be awarded is anybody’s guess,” said Diers.

The city must maintain the bridge for the next 20 years and commit a local funding match of 25 percent to receive the award. Diers said there should be no problem in meeting that 25 percent threshold.

The construction of the new $2 million bridge, which has a projected completion date in the summer of 2020, has already received $249,000 from TAP (Transportation Alternative Funding).

Resolution 147–18 was also approved between the city and Floyd County to collect unpaid parking tickets.

There is currently no way to collect the unpaid fines, which are $15 and progress to $20 if not paid on time.

The city would send the past due parking ticket information over to the county treasurer’s office every month. The unpaid fines could then be collected when a person is renewing their vehicle insurance or registration. The city would pay the county $5 per past due ticket collected for compensation after the unpaid fines are collected.

Diers said the city would like to have the collection process enacted by December. Floyd County Treasurer Frank Rottinghaus is supportive of the idea and has shared the draft 28E Agreement with the Floyd County Board of Supervisors for review.

City Attorney Brad Sloter, after talking with Police Chief Hugh Anderson, said that there are currently around 100–125 unpaid parking tickets.

A new fire truck engine purchase was approved for $27,422.15. One of the Fire Department truck’s engine malfunctioned after antifreeze leaked into the engine and mixed with oil, destroying the motor. The truck is 15 years old and halfway through its life cycle. The remanufactured motor from Cummins Factory will take two weeks to replace in the truck.

The council also agreed to allow Diers to move to his new residence just outside the city limits. Diers said his new home is just under a mile outside the city limits.

“This also has some precedent. Former City Administrator Don Lorsung also lived outside the city limits. At that time we also passed a similar resolution to allow that,” said Mayor Dean Andrews.

The council also appointed Emily Garden to replace Keisha Cunnings on the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Diers also announced the hiring of Annette Dean as head librarian at the Charles City Public Library.

The next council meeting will be a planning session on Monday, Sept. 10.