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KLEM News AM Update January 25, 2011

The workshop during the public meeting at City Hall includes general comments from the mayor, assistant city administrator and Council Finance Committee.

Reports from groups that are city-funded including the Library Board of Trustees are on the agenda for the workshop as well as department heads.

A request to assist a Merrill business in relocating to the former Clark Engineering building, near Lake Avenue and County Road C-38, will be considered, too.

The proposal is to provide a forgivable loan to Northwest Electric. The 20-thousand dollars would come from joint urban renewal area tax incremental financing which is known as TIF. The area includes both the city and Plymouth County.

Prior to the budget work, the Council will be asked to approve an agreement for Lincoln-Lake Avenue intersection improvements. The work is from Fourth Street Southwest to 24th Street Southwest. Federal funds are to finance 80 percent of the 350-thousand dollar estimated cost.

The Council meeting begins at four this afternoon.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2011, 4:00 P.M.


1. Federal-Aid Agreement STP - Lincoln/Lake Intersection Improvements
2. Joint Urban Renewal Expenditure

C.BUDGET WORKSHOP - Please bring your Copy of the Budget
1. General Comments
"Mayor - General
"Assistant City Administrator - Overview and Update
"Finance Committee - Additional Comments

2.Economic Development
"Neal Adler - Chamber/LBIC (Page 68)

3. Operations, Equipment, Vehicles and Improvements
"Police (Page 31)
"Public Works (Pages 37-45)
"Wastewater (Pages 61-62)
"Water (Pages 63)

4. Library Board of Trustees
"Needs Assessment - Phase II (Page 5)
"Operations (Page 53)

5. Other Department Budgets
"Council Decision


NEXT REVIEW - February 1, 2011 Council Meeting
Council Expectations for Next Meeting


Next Resolution No. 11-4
Next Ordinance No. 892

January 25, 2011

Federal-Aid Agreement STP-Lincoln/Lake Intersection Improvements
Item No.



Attached is a Federal-Aid Agreement for a Surface Transportation Project (STP) for the Lincoln/Lake Intersection Improvements from 4th Street SW to 24th Street SW. This project was appropriated $250,000 federal aid or 80% of project costs and is estimated at $350,000

The Council approved DGR to design the project and Final plans are now complete.

Bid opening is scheduled for April 19, 2011 at IDOT Offices, Ames, IA.

Staff Recommendation:

DGR and Staff recommend approval and to proceed to said bid opening.

Financial Impact:

Total Project $350,000
Federal Share$250,000
Local Share$100,000 plus Engineering Costs


Motion adopting Resolution No. _____ approving Federal-Aid Agreement No. 3-10-STPU-032 for Lincoln/Lake Intersection Improvements.

(Roll Call)


January 25, 2011

Joint Urban Renewal Expenditure
Item No.


The Joint Urban Renewal Advisory Board met Monday, January 17, 2011 regarding Northwest Electric's request for assistance to relocate to rural Le Mars (former Clark Engineering Building at intersection of Lake Avenue and C38).

The County and City proposed the following:

An offer of a $20,000 forgivable loan over 4 years. This is a 0%forgivable loan as long as the following criteria are met. The company will open in their new location (the Clark Engineering building) and start operation with 4 employees. Within the first three years from the date of this loan, the company will hire 3 new employees (1 or 2 in the first two years, with a total of no less than 3 new employees within the first three years). For each of these employees $5,000 will be forgiven on the loan. At a time that a job audit is done at the end of four years from the date of this loan, the remaining $5,000 will be forgiven if these 7 positions have remained filled. If, for whatever reason, the total of 3 positions have not been created and retained as stated above, the remaining portion of the loan will become due and payable; and if amortized will have an interest rate of 5%.

Staff Recommendation:

Joint Urban Renewal Advisory Board and City Administration recommend approval.

Financial Impact:

Plymouth County would finance the $20,000 through their own system; however, would expect reimbursement through Joint TIF Revenues.


Motion approving a Joint Urban Renewal expenditure of $20,000 by Plymouth County for a forgivable loan to Northwest Electric and if forgiven, to be reimbursed through Joint T.I.F. Revenues.

(No Roll Call)

(LE MARS)--A third round of budget work will dominate the agenda for the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors meeting today.

The mental health, substance abuse and Iowa Department of Human Services budget will be discussed with Sharon Nieman (nee-man) who is the central point of coordination  (CPC) for those areas and general relief director. The discussion is at 9:15 this morning.

Comments on plans to borrow 200-thousand dollars for nine months at a 2.5 percent interest rate from Primebank will be heard during a 10 a-m hearing. The funds are interim financing for a motorgrader.

The board will also review a request for 20-thousand dollars to assist Northwest Electric relocate from Merrill to Le Mars. The funds would be from tax incremental financing or TIF (TIFF as in Tiffany) revenue.

Funding for Akron's plans to build a new 45-bed care center is an agenda item at 10:15 this morning. Two Akron representatives will meet with the board.

Engineer Tom Rohe's budget will be reviewed during his weekly update at 10:30. The meeting agenda includes an option to meet this afternoon for budget review with discussion and possible action.

The board of supervisors meeting begins one hour earlier today--at 8:30.

Plymouth County Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda
Plymouth County Courthouse Board Room, 1st floor
215 4th Ave. SE

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

8:30 AM     Jim Henrich, Plymouth County Board Chairman
1.Call meeting to order
2.Approve this agenda (Action)
3.Approval of prior Board meeting minutes (Action)
4.Approval of claims and payroll (Signatures)
5.Committee Reports (Discussion)                                                                                                                      A. Discuss 2011 Courthouse Christmas schedule from department head meeting (Action)
6. Old Business
A. Review the Jt. Urban Renewal funding proposal to NW Electric (Discussion and possible
7. New Business
A. Set the Plymouth County FY 11-12 budget hearing date (Action)
B. Review and approve the Plymouth County Semi Annual Settlement Report thru 12-31-10
C. Review and approve the 2010 wages paid (Action)
D. Open and review mail/correspondence (Discussion)
E. Open public forum (Informational)

9:15 AM       Sharon Nieman, Plymouth County CPC and General Relief Director - Review the mental health, DHS and substance abuse budgets for FY 2011-12 (Discussion)

10:00 AM     Plymouth County Board of Supervisors - Public hearing to approve resolution for loan issuance

10:15 AM      Gary Horton, Akron Public Works Director and Chad Erickson, Akron Council Member - Discuss the Akron Care Center funding (Discussion and possible Action)

10:30 AM      Tom Rohe, Plymouth County Engineer
(Action Items)
1. Tile Permit-Lundell Construction Sec 28/33 Stanton Twp on 270th
Sec 21/28 Elgin Twp on 140th St
Sec 24/25 Elkhorn Twp on 320th St
Sec 32/33 Remsen Twp on Roosevelt Ave
Sec 9/10 Union Twp on Pioneer Ave
Sec 10/16 Union Twp on 240th St
(Discussion Items)
Questions/Discussion of the Secondary Road Department
Review FY 2011-12 secondary road budget
(Informational Items)
Update on construction projects

12:00 PM     LUNCH

1:00 PM       Plymouth County Board of Supervisors - Continued Review Budget 2011-12 as needed
(Discussion and possible action)

(MERRILL) After a 3 month shut-down, Plymouth Oil Company will be up and running again this week.  Rich Magnuson of Plymouth Oil said this (Monday) afternoon that the 23 member workforce will go back to work Thursday. The employees were laid-off in mid-October due to a shut-down for maintenance purposes.

Magnuson also said that Teneska Energy of Omaha will be the single marketer for the products produced at Plymouth Oil.  Teneska of Omaha, which reported gross operating revenues of 7.9 billion dollars in 2009, will be supplying Plymouth Oil with germ.  Plymouth Oil will then extract food grade corn oil from the germ and end up with a by-product of de-oiled germ meal for hogs and dairy.  Teneska will buy those products back from Plymouth Oil and market the products.  Magnuson said it will be great to work with one marketer as opposed to the previous set-up, in which Plymouth Oil worked with multiple smaller marketers.

20 of the 23 employees going back to work at Plymouth Oil were a part of the original workforce, the other 3 are new hires that replaced individuals who decided to go a different direction after the October layoffs. Plymouth County Oil is located next to ethanol maker Plymouth Energy along county road K-42, in rural Merrill.

Worker dies in accident at University of Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Authorities have identified the contract worker who died Monday after becoming trapped underneath a beam during a construction project near a flood-damaged University of Iowa art building.

The administrator of the Johnson County Medical Examiner's office says the victim is 52-year-old Kevin D. Hammons of Washington, Iowa. He says an autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday.

Hammons was pronounced dead on the scene along the shore of a pond near Art Building West. A company official said Hammons worked for Washington-based Iowa Bridge and Culvert.

A beam fell on Hammons on Monday morning and firefighters spent hours trying to free him. Investigators are still looking into the cause of the accident.

Panel begins interviews for Iowa court vacancies

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Interviews have begun to fill three seats on the Iowa Supreme Court left open when voters ousted three justices for their role in a ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa.

The state's Judicial Nominating Commission began interviewing 60 candidates who applied for the posts on Monday. The interviews are expected to continue through Thursday.

For the first time the interviews are open to the public and are being streamed live online.

Voters decided not to retain Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and justices Michael Streit and David Baker in the November election after a campaign to remove them in response to the court's unanimous ruling that Iowa's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

The commission will present a list of nine finalists to the governor, who will appoint the justices.

Branstad says up to 1,500 workers could lose jobs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Terry Branstad says Iowa can't afford to pay for a contract negotiated by former Gov. Chet Culver and will consider firing up to 1,500 workers who have been hired or are scheduled to start work soon to cover the cost.

Speaking at a news conference Monday morning, Branstad warned that 1,000 worker hired since July and another 500 who are in the process of being hired could lose their jobs.

The state hired the workers after instituting an early retirement program that prompted more than 2,000 employees to quit their jobs early.

Iowa panel backs putting gay marriage ban to vote

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A key House committee has approved a resolution that would begin the long process of putting a gay marriage ban before voters. The House Judiciary Committee approved the measure on a 13-8 vote yesterday, sending the measure to the full House for debate. Earlier, a subcommittee of that panel voted 2-1 in favor of the resolution.

House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer says the full House could take up the resolution with a few days, but next week is more likely.

Republicans control the House on a 60-40 margin, and top leaders have predicted approval. Senate leaders promise to block the proposal.

More than 200 people jammed the committee room to make their case to lawmakers, with both sides cheering and clapping.

Lawmakers elected in consecutive elections must approve the measure before it could go before voters.

Jury convicts 3, acquits 2 in Iowa school case

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A jury has convicted three people but acquitted two others in a case involving enrollment of children in the state-run Malcolm-Price Laboratory School in Cedar Falls.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that jurors on Monday found Todd and Kristi Eastman, a couple from Waterloo, guilty of three counts each of tampering with records. The jury also convicted former school employee Connie Bigelow of two counts of tampering with records.

The Black Hawk County jury acquitted parents Cheryl Longnecker and Angela Bigelow, who is Connie Bigelow's daughter.

The case involves charges that people falsified their home addresses to get reduced tuition at the school, which is part of the University of Northern Iowa's Department of Education.

A trial is scheduled later for parents Kerry Burt and Stephanie Hovey.

Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier,

Iowa Business Council director backs preschool

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The executive director of the Iowa Business Council says Iowa should not eliminate its state-subsidized preschool program despite Republican calls to dramatically scale back the effort.

Elliott Smith told the Senate Education Committee on Monday afternoon that he sympathizes with Republican calls to cut spending, but he says the preschool program helps attract companies and employees. He says the programs also will pay off in increased productivity by students.

The Senate panel is taking testimony on the preschool program, which over recent years has grown to include most Iowa 4-year-olds.

The Iowa House last week approved a package of spending cuts that would end the program. Republicans say they support instituting a scaled-back preschool program for low-income families.

Charles City chicken plant closes

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) A newly opened chicken processing plant in Charles City has closed its doors and laid off most of its employees.

The owners of Bushman Family Farms closed the plant on Friday. Company spokesman Greg DeWeese says 82 workers were laid off Friday.

DeWeese tells the Charles City Press that the company is working to reorganize and restructure. He says the goal is to reopen the plant and bring back the jobs that were cut.

He says market conditions, rising feed costs, delays in construction and start-up of the plant all contributed to its closing.

The plant opened in November after an extensive renovation of the building that once housed All-States Quality Foods.

Its focus was producing fresh organic and antibiotic-free chicken for specialty markets.

Information from: Charles City Press,

Man found dead after fire at southeast Iowa tavern

WEVER, Iowa (AP) A man is dead after an early morning fire at a tavern in the small southeastern Iowa town of Wever.

Wever Fire Chief J.D. Henshaw says the fire was called in by a woman who lives down the street about 2:30 a.m. Monday. Henshaw says the building that housed the Green Bay Tap was destroyed.

He says an overhang on the building fell onto a gas meter causing a natural gas leak that helped fuel the fire for about three hours before crews could turn off the gas line to the building.

Henshaw says the identity of the man found in the building won't be released until an autopsy is performed. He says the business closed about 10 p.m. Sunday.

2 inmates hurt in assault at Fort Madison prison

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) One inmate remains hospitalized after an assault at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.

State corrections officials say an alarm indicated a possible assault at the Iowa Prison Industries building within the prison complex on Saturday.

One inmate, 23-year-old Christopher Langley suffered serious injuries and remains hospitalized. He is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder from Scott County.

The other inmate, 44-year-old David Lenox, was treated at a hospital but returned to the prison on Sunday. Lenox is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder from Grundy County.

The investigation is continuing and officials say the prison remains locked down.

Prison Industries is an on-site shop where inmates make a variety of products including furniture and signs.

UI president says assault case can be a lesson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) University of Iowa President Sally Mason says the sexual assault trial of a former University of Iowa football player can be a lesson to students about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption.

Mason says the university has responded to the case by trying to reduce binge drinking, improve campus safety and treat alleged sexual assault victims with more care.

Prosecutors contended during this month's trial that Cedric Everson and teammate Abe Satterfield sexually assaulted a freshman athlete who had been drinking heavily. Everson and Satterfield both claimed the sex was consensual, and Everson's attorney argued the woman was in a state of ``functional blackout.''

The jury found Everson guilty of misdemeanor assault, and not more serious sexual abuse charges. Satterfield has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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