Not much happened during the actual business portion of Monday’s Nevada City Council meeting, as there were some pretty basic votes. But there were some interesting things shared when they got to the end of the meeting — during the time department heads share what they’ve been doing.
New City Administrator Matt Mardesen talked a little bit about some recent meetings, one of which was with several council members, representatives of Central Iowa Water Association board of directors and local developers, who have been trying for months to get an agreement for water services at their land just south of the Nevada city limits. ardesen noted that he is still waiting on an official answer from CIWA officials. Several council members and developer Al Kockler aired their frustration that this matter seems to be stalled, after they say they had a verbal agreement with officials of CIWA following that meeting.
“When we met that evening, I thought we pretty much did have a verbal agreement,” said Kockler. The agreement would allow Nevada to supply the water to that development, but CIWA would be reimbursed at a rate they deem necessary, since it falls within their service territory. It was noted that the ability to get city water and pay CIWA may cost residents of that development a little more for water, but the developers feel that would be worth it. Now, they all just want CIWA to finalize their end of the deal.
Library Director Beth Williams became emotional as she said Monday’s meeting is probably her last to attend as library director, due to her upcoming retirement. She said she wasn’t quite sure where her board was at with hiring her replacement, as she isn’t a part of that process. Mayor Lynn Lathrop thanked Williams for her service to the city and wished her luck.
Williams also shared that she was excited about response for the library’s summer reading program for tweens. She said 20 kids have signed up.
Shawn Cole reported that work is progressing at a good rate on Sixth Street and Eighth Street. He said they have opened the crossing at E Avenue again, and are working up toward I Avenue now, which is the furthest the project will go on Sixth.
When asked when the downtown area will be torn up for work, Mardesen answered that it will be at least three to four years at the earliest before they get street work in the downtown area. Former council member Jane Heintz, who often still attends the meetings as an interested resident, said that when she and the former administrator went a few years back to visit Knoxville, as that town was doing a downtown project, “they spent a year to two years prior going to businesses to discuss how they would do things during that (construction period),” she said. “Maybe that might be a nice thing to do here … plenty of time ahead of time.”
Fire Chief Ray Reynolds reported on a busy week last week. He said they’ve already had a couple complaints about fireworks, one of which was because someone was shooting fireworks out of a window. He also noted that there are three places inside the Nevada fire district that are selling fireworks. Two will be in town (Anytime Fitness parking lot and Fareway parking lot), and one is not within the city limits (along Highway 30 near I-35 at the Sand Hill Trail area). The city did, during its meeting, approve some new fines, two of which were for using fireworks outside of the permitted use time or violating usage rules. A first offense will cost a perpetrator $500; a second office, $800.
Reynolds also reported that there were several interesting incidents last week that had Nevada Fire and EMS on the go. Two that happened in the same day, and just 20 minutes apart were a semi rollover on the interstate, and a vehicle that drove through a beanfield and went over the north Union Pacific tracks in Nevada and ended up in the ditch. “We worked with Union Pacific to pull that vehicle out and up over the tracks… the driver was charged with operating while intoxicated,” he said.
A day later, a medical issue caused a driver to lose control and go through the gates and into the DuPont property.
Along with those calls, Nevada Police reserve officer Julie Gfeller was injured at the shooting range northwest of Nevada when a bullet ricocheted and she was hit with “a fragment about the size of a grain of rice,” Police Chief Ric Martinez said. He said she was taken to the emergency room, where she was treated and released. he said Gfeller was there with a firearms instructor when the incident happened. Nevada Police use the same firing range as Story County Sheriff’s deputies. Martinez said they would look into what happened internally and make adjustments to hopefully prevent this from happening again.
City Clerk Kerin Wright talked about the community band performances starting up this week. She also noted there will be a YSS summer learning event at the City Hall campus on July 11. And, she said, the city has had an inquiry from someone interested in holding a wedding on the City Hall campus.