COLUMBUS JUNCTION — An ordinance establishing a Columbus Junction Historic Preservation Commission was approved Wednesday by the city council.

The council’s agenda for the meeting initially indicated only the first reading would be considered, but when councilman Hal Prior made his motion to approve that reading, he also added waiving the second and third readings.

The rest of the council unanimously agreed, and the preservation commission ordinance was approved, paving the way for city officials to begin searching for volunteer members.

Columbus Junction Community Development Director Mallory Smith said she contacted officials at the state historic preservation office to determine if an Iowa Falls ordinance she presented to the council last month met the requirements to comply with a Certified Local Government designation for the city.

Smith said the state office referred her to a model ordinance on the state’s website and she compared it with the Iowa Falls’ statute.

“There were some minor differences, but otherwise it’s the model (ordinance) that sets you up to be a certified local government,” she told the council.

Smith also reminded the council the proposed ordinance included creating a six-member commission with the members serving staggered three-year terms. That will mean the initial appointments will require two members to be appointed for one-year terms, two members for two-year terms and two members for three-year terms.

At least four of the initial appointments must be city residents, Smith said, explaining that would leave open the possibility of two members being appointed from outside the city.

“That gives the majority to the city,” she pointed out.

Following the vote, Mayor Mark Huston asked Smith and Prior, who together with councilman Frank Best, spearheaded the ordinance’s adoption, if they could have a list of possible commission members by the council’s Oct. 24 meeting.

“Do we want to advertise and put something out there?” Prior asked.

Smith suggested people could come forward and a planning committee established. She said the council then could make appointments at the first of the year.

“As many people as might be interested can come forward,” she said.

“We’ll leave it up to Frank and Mallory and when you’re ready, just holler,” Huston said.

In other action, the council accepted a $6,572 bid from local contractor Bob Schwab to replace lighting fixtures on the first floor of the city hall/library facility and its exterior.

Officials said they expected a rebate of about $1,450 for the new LED lighting fixtures, which will replace some of the original fixtures in the nearly 13-year-old building.

A less than five-year payback has been projected with the new energy efficient lighting.

The council also received a $6,802 bid from Sitler’s LED Lighting, Washington.

Police Chief Donnie Orr also reported to the council his four-member department recently received an $1,800 grant from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance for new bulletproof vests.

Orr also reported a $4,200 grant for enhanced enforcement was awarded as part of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau program.

He also distributed copies of a traffic count report recently completed by the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission.