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City council holds public hearing on NIACC property sale

By Travis Fischer,

The Charles City Council held a public hearing regarding the sale of city property to NIACC during the council’s regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 5.

Looking for expansion space to build a high school career academy off of its existing building, North Iowa Area Community College has been working with the city to purchase the southwest side of the property, which is currently used as a parking lot.

The city is considering selling the property to NIACC for $1, with NIACC agreeing to pay the various fees involved along with signing over a small portion of the property’s east side so that the city will completely own the public sidewalk.

The public hearing went through with no comments as the city moves a step closer to the exchange.

“I think this is going to be a nice project for our community to have this downtown,” said Mayor Dean Andrews.

In other business, the council also held the second reading of the Unified Development Ordinance, which revises and combines the city’s existing zoning and building ordinances. Since initially introduced, The Unified Development Ordinance has undergone some minor revisions to clarify housing definitions, but no substantial changes have been made.

The council also approved a request from city employees to close down the office on Friday, Dec. 23, in anticipation of the Christmas holiday.

“I think there’s probably not a lot of people coming in for city business,” said Mayor Andrews.

Finally, City Administrator Steve Diers reported that he had a meeting with representatives from Mid-American Energy. Among the matters discussed was the power company’s “Trees Please” program, which provides new trees for municipalities as they cycle out dead or dying ones.

“As we work towards removing trees, we need to be mindful about replacing those as well,” said Diers. The city has lost many trees to the emerald ash borer.

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