Council will not reconsider vote on property severance

T-R FILE PHOTO From this Dec. 28, 2016 photo, Monte Eaton of Marshalltown is shown making a presentation to the city council. Eaton appeared before the council again Monday night. He asked it to place on the Jan. 23 agenda reconsideration of his request to sever his property from the city. His request made at the Dec. 27 meeting failed 3-2. On Monday night, council voted 3-3 vote on a motion to place the vote reconsideration on the agenda. A tie vote meant the measures failed.

Monte and Leisha Eaton’s property at 2460 A Reed Ave. will remain in city limits.

The Eatons appeared before the council a second time Monday night, asking the council to reconsider its vote of Dec. 27, when they denied their and three other property owner’s requests to sever from the city.

After much debate, council denied by a 3-2 vote.

To reconsider its Dec. 27 vote, the council would have to agree by simple majority to place the item on the Jan. 23 meeting agenda.

On Monday night, a 3-3 vote resulted on a motion made to place the reconsideration vote on the Jan. 23 agenda.

A tie vote meant the motion failed, said City Clerk Shari Coughenhour.

That means a vote to reconsider will not be on the Jan. 23 agenda.

Voting against the motion for vote reconsideration were third ward councilor Mike Gowdy, second ward councilor Joel Greer and councilor-at-large Bethany Wirin.

Voting for the motion were Hoop, first ward councilor Bob Schubert and councilor-at-large Leon Lamer.

At-large councilor Bill Martin was absent.

The Eatons picked up one vote from Lamer, who, like Martin, was absent from the Dec. 27 meeting.

But it was not enough, they needed one more just to get the measure on the agenda.

The Eatons and Gruenings said their request to sever from the city is being made because they pay city taxes but are not receiving city services.

The city rebutted, claiming they are eligible to receive fire and police services.

However, Monte Eaton told the Times-Republican last week the nearest fire hydrant was approximately one-half mile away from his house, and he claimed Marshalltown police would have to leave city limits, enter Marshall County and then re-enter city limits to make a call to his property.

In the T-R interview, Eaton also claimed that in 1969, the city — without thorough consideration — annexed his and other properties at the request of a former property owner.

The properties are in the extreme southern portion of city limits, said Housing and Community Development Director Michelle Spohnheimer.

On Dec. 27, Spohnheimer said if the applications were approved, the city would stand to lose $6,050 in its portion of total taxes paid on the properties.

Members expressed other concerns, especially “that a snowball effect would result” if the four were granted permission to sever.

Eaton and Gruening paid $250 in non-refundable applications to have properties severed.

In other business:

— Council approved the appointments of Anel Garza, term expires Jan. 1, 2019, and Kim Barnes, term expires Jan. 1, 2018 to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Additionally, approved reappointments of Jeff Sogge and Matt Tullis. Terms expire Jan. 1, 2019.

— Entered into closed session allowed by the Code of Iowa concerning strategy meetings of the public employer for collective bargaining purposes. The City of Marshalltown has an attorney-client relationship with Michael Galloway, Ahlers & Cooney, PC, pursuant to an engagement letter dated July 1, 2011.

The next regular meeting of the city council is 5:30 p.m. Jan. 23, in council chambers, Carnegie Building, 10 W. S. State St. For more information, contact 641-754-5701, or visit


Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or