September 19, 2021

Library board, city building on November ballot; council pay shifts

Creston City Administrator Mike Taylor explained Tuesday during the city council meeting how a special election is needed to approve financing in road use funds from the state to build a new public works building estimated at $2.8 million.

“We have several million dollars of equipment and trucks. But it is not considered an essential need according to state code,” Taylor said about a building.

Taylor and Creston Mayor Gabe Carroll both explained how the approved construction of the building will not require a tax increase. Carroll said a new building will help.

“It is in very, very poor, borderline dangerous,” Carroll said about the building.

The building’s location will be at the same location of the existing building, 820 S. Park.

Council also approved a special election to change the library board members from five to nine. Although eight members had been serving on the board of trustees, a ninth member was appointed earlier this year. Nine members are more than the ordinance approved decades ago.

Approved in 1985, the ordinance shrank the amount of members allowed to serve from nine to five. According to Iowa state law, however, library ordinances are to be approved by consent of the public, which Ordinance 2.7 was not. Library Director Aric Bishop set the amount of members back to the pre-1985 ordinance when he took over. A compromise toward having seven members and the verbiage for the proposed ordinance has been an ongoing discussion since.

Both the building and library board are expected to be on the November ballot.

Suggested by council member Rich Madison, council unanimously approved Tuesday to change how council members are compensated. Madison suggested for members to be paid $50 per meeting with a maximum of $300 per month. Council had been paid $300 per month.

“This will encourage us to attend our meetings,” Madison said.

The change is expected to be implemented Jan. 1, 2022.

John Van Nostrand

JOHN VAN NOSTRAND

An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.