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Variety of Charles City efforts setting foundation for success


Variety of Charles City efforts setting foundation for success

As we near the end of 2015, we are continuing to make progress on a variety of fronts.

Here is a quick review:


Several events occurred in early 2015 which raised questions about the effectiveness of our Animal control ordinance. A special committee was put together to improve the ordinance.

Fees have been established as follows:

■ dogs spayed/neutered and bear a microchip – $10/year,

■ dogs spayed/neutered and do not bear a microchip – $35/ year and dogs that are not

■ spayed/neutered and do not bear a microchip – $40/year. Registrations are due annually by March 1 and a penalty of $5 will be assessed for late registration. This registering process will be done at City Hall.

A section requiring leashes be used was also included. There is no language completely banning any breeds within the city limits. Rather, sub-paragraph 55.09 of the ordinance contains specific wording as to when a dog is deemed to be vicious.

The first reading of the ordinance occurred this week.

The second and third readings will be done at the Dec. 7 and Dec. 21 meetings respectively with adoption of the ordinance being done at the Dec. 21 meeting.

Hopefully, these changes will make it clearer who bears responsibility in controlling animals.


It has become clear recently that attracting job generating business ventures requires a robust local workforce that possess skills that are generated by business/education partnerships. These “middle skills” involve workforce training over and above high school, but not necessarily a 4-year college degree. The Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board will allow us to “test drive” what it takes to teach these skills and keep our region competitive.


This study group has identified a solid list of possible community-sharing projects. The challenge now will be to establish priority among the various items.

Another aspect of this matter is how fund raising will be handled. This could include grants, tax-exempt bonding, TIF financing, and special third party facilitation and investigation.

The point is that the success or failure of these efforts is going to depend upon partnerships over and above the capacity of the city acting alone.


Working with numerous parties, the city has now submitted a watershed grant for federal funding under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. This grant would implement land use practices on farms and land in general upstream of Charles City in five watersheds, four of which are physically located in Mitchell County. The goal is to secure funding to bring about improved land use practices over a five-year period that aids in water quality improvement, water quality mitigation (flooding) and to improve natural habitat for wildlife.

This is a substantial grant.

Since our location is directly south of these watersheds, we feel the negative impact of what happens up stream, whether it is heavy rains, run-off or the like.

This project also has the potential to help address water quality issues that need to be met as part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy includes standards for reducing the amount of Nitrogen and Phosphorus flowing into Iowa rivers and streams and ultimately into the Gulf of Mexico.

Our new wastewater treatment agreement with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has general requirements for the city to meet tightened Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) limits.

This project could help lay the ground work for doing some type of Nutrient Reduction Strategy where the City could conceivably reduce and meet our reduction requirements by reducing N & P in the aggregate via improvements made to the Wastewater Treatment Plant and by improved land use practices in the watershed. This grant also looks to improve water quality as a whole and address water quantity which would improve flood mitigation by limiting the speed and quantity of water that comes into streams and rivers Much more will be known by the first quarter of 2016.

However, the above listing represents the results generated by a lot of hard work and group effort creating a foundation for success in 2016. Everything may not happen all at once, but progress is being made.

Mayor Jim Erb

Charles City

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