With still a few surveys yet to be returned, 52.29 (308 Yes to 281 No) Wellman residents indicated they feel that construction of a activities complex is beneficial to long term growth of …
With still a few surveys yet to be returned, 52.29 (308 Yes to 281 No) Wellman residents indicated they feel that construction of a activities complex is beneficial to long term growth of Wellman.
There was overwhelming opposition (69.83 per cent) to limiting cost to $500,000.
Mayor Max Lewis said the council would not have to over-ride a veto by former mayor Wilbur Swartzendruber which effectively stopped the project after bids had been let on the $735,800 project.
Lewis said the new council could vote on the motions for approving the plans and specifications and granting the contract to Selzer -Werderitsch, Iowa City. He cited a clause in the bid document that prevents the contractor from withdrawing his bid for 90 days.
Councilman Pat Curl asked for time to review the city’s budget before making a decision on whether or not to accept the bids. A decision on the activities complex was set for the March 6 council meeting.
Mayor Lewis said he felt the survey only showed that the community is still split about 50-50 on the activities complex.
“The money is there to build it, but the city can’t afford to operate it without seriously restricting other funds,” Lewis said.
Councilman Jim Seward said he didn’t feel the survey showed much of anything. He noted his survey was conducted last November when citizens voted him into office knowing he was opposed to the complex.
“Maybe we could work out a compromise with the Wellman Foundation people and build this center in another location,” Lewis added.
Joyce Millice, president of the Wellman Area Foundation Board, said she was pleased with the survey results and felt it showed the people want the complex and are willing to pay membership dues to support it.
She pointed out that 281 of the voters were willing to pay $75 to $100 a year for membership fees while 273 indicated they would be willing to pay $150 to $200 annually for family memberships.
In the options survey, the gym/walking track was rated top priority, 191 ranking it first. A swimming pool was ranked second with 165 votes, but a swimming pool is not part of the proposed complex.
Bob Grigsby, owner of Social Sciences Research Institute, asked to be able to review each survey so he could give the community an evaluation of what the people of Wellman really want. He noted this would allow the city a basis for making a good decision on the project.
Law Enforcement Contract
The council tabled the law enforcement contract with Washington County until a meeting in February. Councilman Curl asked for more time to study the total budget before approving the contract with the county.
Sheriff Yale Jarvis noted that with the retirement of Jack Dillon as chief deputy, he now operates with two operational officers including Beryl Butterbaugh of Wellman. He also noted that because the new jail financing was not approved, the county jail has been reduce to 20 inmates, meaning more money now has to be spent on housing and transporting prisoners.
Jarvis told the council that enforcement of local traffic problems is dictated by the council. If his office receives complaints or requests from the city, the sheriff’s deputies will enforce the laws accordingly. He said no charges will be filed under state laws unless requested otherwise.
The council vote 4-0 (with Cindy Slaubaugh declining to vote) to approve the following salaries for the balance of the current fiscal year, representing a $1 an hour pay increased:
And the following representing a 50 cents an hour increase:
All raises become effective February 1.
Parks & Recreation
The council tabled action on a proposed Parks and Recreation Board until more people can be found to serve on the seven member board.
The proposed committee is to advise the council on the needed facilities to provide open space such as parks, playgrounds and community facilities for other forms of recreation. It shall also plan and oversee city programs and encourage other programs to enhance the leisure time activities of the city’s residents of all ages.
Members are to be appointed by the council and are to serve without compensation for an undetermined number of years.
In other action, the Wellman council:
•approved purchase of a water/sewer line locator for $2,700 from Municipal Supply.
•approved Class B wine permit renewal for Freeman Foods.
•reviewed bridge inspection report.
•adopted a policy for issuing of keys for city owned buildings.
•heard from water superintendent Audie Foster that the engineer was possibly over designing the proposed new waste water treatment plant. He noted that Wellman now has only 100,000 gallons of waste water daily and the plant is being projected to handle 1,l00,000 gallons.