Kalona council nixes building inspector ordinance “for now”

By Mary Zielinski(free-lance writer)
Posted 4/8/99

After weighing possible advantages and disadvantages, the Kalona City Council Monday voted to “remove from consideration” enactment of an ordinance creating a building inspector position and fee …

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Kalona council nixes building inspector ordinance “for now”


After weighing possible advantages and disadvantages, the Kalona City Council Monday voted to “remove from consideration” enactment of an ordinance creating a building inspector position and fee schedule “at this time.”

The three to one vote (Jerry Kauffman was opposed) does not eliminate the move forever, the council noted, only for the present time.

The council had discussed the possibility of contracting for building inspection services with fees paid by building contractors. Some concerns had been voiced about the move, which would have a building code, impacting older, existing structures.

There also had been discussion about the fact that most electrical and plumbing contractors already are licensed. The inspection procedure, noted councilman Dave Droz simply “would level the playing field for everyone.”

City Administrator Doug Morgan noted that the move would not require contractors to be licensed or bonded, but that their work would have to meet specific standards. Nor would there be any affect on the city’s liability insurance or additional premium cost, Morgan said.

Kauffman noted that “it would mean shuffling more paperwork,” and that costs would be covered by the assessed fees.

Droz urged the council to decide the issue, then made the motion to remove it from the council’s consideration “at this time.” He noted that the matter can be “revisited” later.

Clean-up set

Morgan told the council that the city will join with the Kalona Chamber of Commerce, The Kalona News and local businesses for a literal clean-up of the city Saturday, April 10, starting at 5:30 a.m.

“We are going to wash down the streets and sidewalks,” said Morgan, noting that after the work is done, volunteers “will have a free breakfast.”

The breakfast is provided by the sponsoring groups at the Kalonial Townhouse.

“We should be done with the clean-up by seven,” he said. The early hour affords time to do the clean-up without interfering with the regular business day.

In line with city cleanup, Morgan asked the council to consider new signs for the Sharon Hill Cemetery, particularly a brickwork sign for the east edge of the cemetery.

“It would be very much like the one in the city park with a bricked-in planter and a sign from Timberline Sign Company,” he said.

Morgan said he also had asked about repairing the archway sign at the cemetery’s original main entrance.

While all council members agreed the work should be done, Droz asked “can we get pictures of sketches so we can have an idea of exactly how it will look?”

Morgan said, “I think so. It can all be computer generated.”


Morgan said that the city’s Trees Forever program is Saturday, May 8, in the west parking lot of the Kalona Community Center. The city will have trees available for sale (at a two for one price) to residents.

Funding, in part, is from a $1,500 grant from the Alliant Branching Out project in cooperation with the state-wide Trees Forever program. Previous tress have been oak, linden and maple, among other hardwoods.

That same day is also earmarked for a citywide cleanup when residents may have tires, appliances and other large items removed.

“No garbage will be accepted,” Morgan said, stressing that it is a annual spring cleaning approach, not a substitute for the weekly trash pick up.


Morgan said that Alliant Utilities had hoped to have “the repainted poles replaced today, but were delayed by the weather.” He said that the poles will be back “this week.”

There also are new banners “that we will try to get up this week.”

Morgan also reported about a county meeting to discuss possible Y2K problems, noting that “Tom Shepherd of the state office stressed there is no need for panic or hysteria. He said that the oil, energy and other companies are all profit driven and they are not going to lose millions by not being prepared.”

Morgan said Shepherd gave an example “about the Mars candy company which has spent $33 million to deal with Y2K, telling us that’s a ‘drop in the bucket’ compared to what they make in week.”

However, the city has taken steps, especially with acquisition of a large generator to assure continuation fo water service. In addition, the Kalona Volunteer Fire Department also has acquired a large generator.

In other business, the council:

•learned that work is planned to do seeding along J Ave. and to repair potholes in city streets

•approved a cemetery deed for Ralph W. and Mary Ellen Miller.

•approved renewal application for beer and Sunday Sales for Casey’s General Store

•approved the application for a wine permit for Charles Graves. d/b/a Kalona Meat & Cheese Shoppe. Morgan told the council that the business (formerly Kalona Locker, Inc.) will no longer do custom butchering except for “its own products,” which will be local retail and mail order.

•discussed traffic problems with Sheriff Yale Jarvis, especially at 6th St. where the traffic light is situated. The intersection also has a crossing guard during the start and close of school classes. Jarvis noted that the crossing guard always takes precedence over any traffic signal.

•discussed problems with motorists running the stop sign at the corner of B Ave. and 4th St., agreeing that some type of line of even the words stop should be painted on B Ave.