An Iowa State University student intern will soon start a 10-month project to catalogue the mass of archival materials held by now-defunct Hometown Perry Iowa. An agreement approved at the Oct. 7 meeting of the Perry City Council between the city and the Fullhart/Carnegie Charitable Trust, which controls the archives, provides office space and a salary for the intern and a temporary, part-time person to orient the intern to the archives, which are housed in the basement of the Town-Craft Building at Second Street and Willis Avenue.
According to advocates of the archives, an orderly arrangement and catalogue of the materials could make them highly attractive to researchers and scholars of local history and of Midwestern culture and society. A steady series of displays of the materials in the Carnegie Library and at planned bike-trail kiosks and learning stations would add another dimension to Perry’s tourist economy, they say.
In other business, the Farmers Cooperative Company made a special presentation about a proposed relocation and expansion of their facilities northwest of town. They plan to move their Perry plant from its current location west of town, at the corner of 130th Street and I Avenue, to a larger, 40-acre space north of the city, at the southwest corner of Highway 144 (D Avenue) and County Road P54 (325th Street).
The new property lies in Boone County, and the move still needs approval from that county’s planning and zoning commission, but since the property lies within two miles of the city limits of Perry, the Farmers Cooperative also wanted to bring the matter to the attention of the Perry City Council. This is a courtesy that Perry normally extends to Boone County in turn when our activities have a proximate impact on our neighbors to the north.
Devon Mogler, Farmers Cooperative director of operations, and Mark Miner, the company’s chief financial officer, hope to start construction on the new facility this fall and have phase one completed before spring planting. The 120-year-old Farmers Cooperative Company has more than 50 plants across Iowa with 450 employees working in four departments: agronomy, seed, feed and grain.
The Council next agreed to consider a proposed city contract with Minburn Communications for telephone and high-speed internet services. Councilmember Jenny Eklund noted how polite and efficient the workers with White Construction, the Beaver Dam, Wis., company laying the fiber-optic cable in Perry for Minburn Communications, have been over the course of the project, which is nearing completion of this phase.
City Administrator Butch Niebuhr informed the Council that representatives from Alliant Energy were recently in Perry to explore solar-energy options in the Perry Marketplace. The City previously approved the purchase of solar panels for two buildings in the marketplace, taking advantage of a $10,000 grant to implement the green-energy project.
Councilman Phil Stone reminded fellow members about the importance of the Perry Comprehensive Plan 2013 and encouraged Perry residents to read the draft plan and offer changes before it is officially approved. Copies can be seen at City Hall or on the city’s website.
A brief public hearing was held to discuss the sale of a city-owned Chevrolet pickup truck with snow plow. Perry Mayor Jay Pattee stated that 16 bids were received, the highest that of $5,151.51 from Keith Kenyon. The Council approved the sale of the vehicle to Kenyon.
A pair of pay requests were approved by the Council, a $65,000 payment toward the 28th Street construction project and a $71,000 payment toward the 2013 Willis Avenue improvement project.
The Council approved extending for one year an agreement for cleaning services at the Perry Public Library.
Suzanne Gerlach, senior management consultant with Public Financial Management (PFM), reported to the Council the results of the recent sale of $2.2 million in general obligation bonds. Proceeds from the bonds will be used to finance a number of city construction projects. A total of five bids were received for the bonds, with UMB Bank of Kansas City, Mo., offering the best interest rate at 2.33 percent. Gerlach said the city received a good rate for the bonds, selling just prior to market changes led to higher rates.
The turkey vulture issue again came to the fore with a report from the ad hoc committee formed to address the issue. Councilman Randy McCaulley said the committee has done preliminary research and is developing a plan for action in the spring. Councilman Charles Schott encouraged citizens to learn more about the animals and offer suggestions to the council for preventing their continued roosting.
The Council approved renewal of its system of health savings accounts for city employees. The US Internal Revenue Service requires annual renewal of the plan.
The Council also approved a contract with the Iowa Brownfield Redevelopment Program Community Assistance Grant and a scope of services agreement for brownfield redevelopment.