Five things to know from Toledo Council

1. A large part of the July 12 Toledo City Council meeting was to discuss the employee resignation of Officer Shauncey Day, and to what degree should the city forgive his contract.

Day is leaving because he took a job with the Wyoming State Patrol, seeking to relocate to a place close to the mountains as he’s an avid outdoorsman. Day was hired by the city on April 11, 2019, agreeing to a three year contract which included provisions for the city to buy out a $4,151.15 contract Day had with his previous employer, the Meskwaki Nation Police Department.

Day submitted his resignation earlier this month and has worked two years and three months with the city.

Police Chief Nathan Shepard said he respected Day’s choice, saying Day was a great service to the city of Toledo, and was someone who exceeded expectations. However, Shepard said it was the council’s decision as to how to handle the contract. The council decided to forgive two thirds of Day’s remaining contract, meaning Day will need to repay the city $1,383.72 as he was was employed for close to two thirds of the contract length.

2. The city council approved an increase in the city’s water and sewer per gallon by three percent for the next three years. At a previous meeting, the council heard input from Public Works Superintendent Kendall Jordan with Jordan estimating an increase for salt to operate the city’s softener system around $3,000 in 2021. The News Chronicle previously reported that under the approved plan, customers paying the minimum bill for water and sewer will see a bill increase by approximately 50 cents each year. No public comments were heard during the public hearings ahead of the council vote.

3. The council discussed the regulation and operation of ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) and UTVs (utility task vehicle) within the city, in regards to speed control in town. One city council member said that there were kids as young as eight, nine, ten years old, operating ATVs with no driver’s license.

Shepard said the law is in the process of being codified and that ATVs will be required to be registered with the DNR (Iowa Department of Natural Resources). ATVs will not be allowed to be driven in town except when plowing snow with the fixed blade and on certain farm routes to get to a fueling station. UTVs will be required to have the same safety equipment, such as flags and slow moving sign, as golf carts.

4. The council approved authorization to certify liens for mowing assessments to the Tama County Treasurer. Officer Shepard said frequent violators who continue to have liens were the main ones they seek to go after: 204 W. Marshall ($200); 101 W. Madison ($200); 504 S. Church ($200); 207 N Church ($200); 103 Business Hwy 30 W ($200).

5. On 4th of July weekend, the Toledo police issued 11 citations for firing off fireworks. The City of Toledo banned the use of fireworks in 2020. The City of Tama however, allows them for a short period near the 4th of July holiday. While no individuals showed up to object to the citations, there was a discussion on what to do to curb the use of recreational fireworks in city limits, given the city has no authority to prohibit the sale of fireworks.

In Other Council News:

The city council approved Ordinance 2021-02, which allowed the city to update amendments, which was a five-year codification process.

Chief Shepard invited council members Joe Boll and Jeremy Cremeans, who sit on the city’s public safety committee, to attend an upcoming department meeting as the department progresses through the hiring process to replace Officer Day. Shepard said he’s going to have the Public Safety Committee attend the department meeting after they complete testing on their officer candidates.