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City approves pre-feasibility study into fiber networks

Council reviews sarcoma awareness proclamation, summer ordinance updates

By Kate Hayden |

Charles City will move forward with a Broadband Engagement and Education pre-feasibility study, the City Council decided during Monday’s meeting.

Council members approved a proposal with Curtis Dean and Smart Source Consulting intended to gauge residents’ interest levels in access to a fiber broadband network with neighboring communities. The network could eventually open opportunities for a municipality broadband utility, which could potentially offer cable, phone and Internet options to homes. The pre-feasibility study will cost the city $18,500 out of the city cable fund and will take six to eight weeks, City Clerk Trudy O’Donnell told the council.

“Very interesting things could come out of this, long-term, for the city,” council member DeLaine Freeseman said.


Mayor Jim Erb recognized residents Jean and Clifford Boley at the meeting’s start in a community proclamation designating July as Sarcoma Awareness Month in Charles City.

The Boleys’ daughter Amy Boley Heiter died in April 2015 following a battle with sarcoma cancer. Heiter was a student teacher at Washington Elementary School and former basketball star at Charles City High School.

“You know you have community support for all the things you’re doing,” Mayor Erb said following his proclamation.

Sarcoma cancers are among the most common occurring among children and young adults, taking an average of 14 months to be diagnosed, the proclamation notes.


The council approved a tax rebate incentive transfer to Kurt Walderbach, owner of Synergy Therapy & Sports Medicine, who intends to purchase the Fastenal building at 318 N. Main Street. Synergy Therapy will be moving from it’s current location at 1612 South Grand and needs room to expand, Walderbach told the council last Wednesday.

Under the existing rebate agreement with building owners BDH, there is a 50 percent tax rebate for ten years on the property, or a maximum of $42,285. To date $11,281.98 has been paid to BDH. The remaining seven years will be transferred to Walderbach Properties, who anticipates spending $50-60,000 on property upgrades.


The Charles City Council reviewed five ordinances during the meeting, including the final reading of Ordinance 1092 amending wheelchair ramp zonings.

The council approved a new subsection allowing the Zoning Administrator to approve an encroachment of a handicap ramp to city property. The change means wheelchair ramp requests will no longer need formal review by the Board of Adjustment, which includes a $75 application fee, but also means ramps will be removed within six months after a resident requiring the ramp moves out or dies.

The council also amended open burning and nuisance abatement ordinances on the first day of summer. Properties that have not had lawns mowed will receive a notice “posted on the property for a subsequent nuisance after notice was served for an initial nuisance according to state code,” the council’s agenda item said. Residents who do not mow their lawns will be billed for the work.

The city council also reinstated an open burning policy that was dropped in 2012, O’Donnell said, when the city adopted the state fire code through the codification process. The code limits the size of fire pits to no bigger than three feet, and bans fires after midnight.



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