The city of Nevada talked about purchasing three acres of land, presently owned by Nevada Lumber Co., just west of the city’s current street department facilities and just east of the lumber yard building.
City Administrator Matt Mardesen said he had met with Eric Gabrielson of Nevada Lumber, and they had discussed a price of $25,000 for the purchase of the three lots, which are 90 by 50 feet each (.31 acres).
“I don’t know if there’s an immediate need for us with that property,” Mardesen said, “but eventually, it might be the appropriate place for us to add on to our (street departments’) facilities.” Mardesen said he didn’t know if the city could, in the future, find a better opportunity to expand operations for the price and location being discussed.
Gabrielson said presently, the property — which was the site of Dawson Elevator 20-some years ago and then was purchased by Heart of Iowa Coop, who sold it to him — is a level site, but does contain concrete. He said he also appreciates the huge amount of people who utilize the Lions Club’s semi trailer, which he has allowed to be located on the property, and where paper is collected to be recycled. He said he’d hope the city could allow that use of the property to continue until they needed to use it themselves.
Councilman Jim Walker agreed, asking Mardesen to reach out to the Lions and let them know that the city isn’t planning to move them right now. Councilman Andy Kelly did, however, want the city to check with its insurance carrier to be sure there were no concerns with that use.
Council had no objections to the city’s purchasing of this land, which will move forward.
Also discussed at the meeting Monday was the city and school’s facility use agreement, which is annually reviewed in June.
Tim Hansen presented about the agreement, which has a few changes.
One new thing, he said, is that rather than having two agreements — in the past there was one for Parks and Recreation’s use of the schools and a second for the school’s use of Gates Hall — this new agreement puts everything into one document. It also allows the school, which previously could use Gates Hall for a reduced rate, to now use Gates Hall free of charge.
Hansen said this change is made possible because rather than having a Parks and Recreation employee needing to set up, be present during and tear down/clean up after an event, if the school uses Gates Hall, they agree now to provide their own personnel to do all the prep work and cleaning work at the end, and to supervise during the event. That change, Hansen said, will alleviate cost to Parks and Rec for staff people.
The one exception to this facilities use rule is Fawcett Aquatic Center, Hansen said. The city has to provide certified life-guarding staff any time the pool is used for an event, and those people need to be paid.
The agreement, for the first time, allows Parks and Rec use of the school’s weight room for programming. Hansen said, in fact, that a program is being offered by Parks and Rec there this summer, and it is working out well.
The agreement is reviewed annually and has a 60-day notice if either side needs to change something. Hansen said he’s very comfortable with it.
While Mayor Lynn Lathrop questioned and didn’t seem fully comfortable with putting Gates Hall use in the same agreement, Councilman Jim Walker said he was hoping this would help Gates Hall get more use by the public.
Hansen said while it hasn’t gone before the school board yet, he and Superintendent Dr. Steve Gray have worked hard to tweak the agreement over the past few weeks. “Bottom line, we both need each other to carry out the things that we do, and the intent of this (agreement) is to make that possible.”
A last point of interest at the meeting, had to do with Mardesen’s reports to the council. Mardesen said on July 6, he was involved in a brainstorming session held in Ames with other city and community leaders from the area. The platform was on advanced wireless research. Mardesen said Story County and Nevada are being asked to be part of a study on the next level of internet connectivity. He said Iowa State University is putting in for a $20 million grant, and if they receive it, private corporations have already pledged another $50 million for the project.
Mardesen said the study hopes to find advancements in the third wave of internet connectivity over the next five years. This research will increase the feasibility to connect rural communities to larger networks and increase the coverage and speeds of our modern day internet. He said researchers will be coming to Nevada the week of July 17 to look over the city’s facilities and see what possibilities exist that could be part of the research.