Council approves incentives

Strong support for new officer hiring incentives


The Marshalltown City Council acted swiftly upon Police Chief Mike Tupper recommendation and approved a police officer hiring incentive program Monday night.

Specifically, any graduate of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy could receive up to $7,500 contingent upon meeting certain requirements, said City Administrator Jessica Kinser, reporting due to Tupper’s absence.

The successful candidate will receive a $2,500 bonus upon hire, an additional $2,500 after one year service, and another $2,500 after two years service.

“The president of the local police union said the amount was a nice incentive,” said Kinser.

It is hoped the incentive will attract an ILEA graduate, perhaps working for another department, to consider the Marshalltown Police Department.

Tupper told the council earlier this month an incentive package could help Marshalltown fill one vacancy.

Additionally, Kinser said the MPD will have three vacancies in the near future due to retirements.

Consequently, the city was acting proactively to head off potential problems.

“We recently had 10 candidates from the Civil Service List ‘wash out’ for one position.” said Tupper at the April 10 meeting. “We are competing against Des Moines-area departments who are offering a better base pay than we. An incentive program will help level the playing field.”

Additionally, city employees will be eligible for cash bonuses if they are successful in recruiting non-certified or ILEA certified officers to the MPD.

A city employee will be eligible for a $500 bonus if he or she is successful in recruiting a non-ILEA certified candidate, and $1,000 for a ILEA certified candidate.

Both incentive programs are for the remainder of this year, and all 2018. They expire Dec. 31, 2018.

Marshalltown Generating Station

Kenn Vinson of Alliant Energy told the council it would be his last presentation about the 650-megawatt, combined-cycle, natural gas-fired facility which is expected to power more than 500,000 homes.

Vinson said the plant — which cost an estimated $700 million to construct — went online April 1.

It has been used 18 of 24 days this month.

Approximately 215 construction workers remain on the job removing scaffolding, cleaning and installing landscaping, among other tasks, he said.

Vinson said a temporary traffic signal at East Nevada Street/18th Avenue intersection will remain in place until late May or early June.

“I have received a number of telephone calls at home from folks who want the light removed, citing its inconvenience, “ he said. “I am not going to apologize for its initial installation or use now … it was put in place for safety … to protect plant workers as well as Marshalltown residents.”

Speaking of safety, Vinson said plant construction workers achieved almost 3 million hours without a major safety incident.

“That is a remarkable achievement considering the scope and magnitude of the project,” he said.

MGS was the largest economic development project in Marshalltown’s history, and one of the biggest ever in Central Iowa.

Over a two and one-half years the economic impact has been chart-busting, with $47.3 million spent in the Marshalltown area by contractors and workers effective Feb. 13, according to Alliant officials.

Mayor Jim Lowrance complimented Vinson on his frequent reports to the council.

Similarly, Vinson regularly visited the Marshall County Board of Supervisors and service clubs.

Alliant is opening the MGS to credentialed press today, and on May 15 will hold a ribbon cutting.

Vinson concluded by saying he was saddened to learn of First Ward Councilor Bob Schubert’s death last month.

“We were in Florida all of March,” Vinson said. “Bob and I did not agree on everything, but Bob could disagree with a smile on his face.”

In other business:

— New firefighter,Jeremy Weiermann was sworn in by City Clerk Shari Coughenhour. With the hire, the Marshalltown Fire Department is full strength, said MFD Chief David Rierson.

— The council approved a Facade Grant application for 116 W Main Street. The facade program is managed by Central Business District staff and volunteers. Owner will be eligible for reimbursement of $8,500.

— Approved a resolution allowing the Transit Division to purchase equipment. Specifically a contract between the city and Gillig LLC, of Hayward, Calif. for a 30-foot low floor diesel bus in accordance with Iowa DOT contract for $403,327.

— Approved a resolution regarding Agreement Amendment No. 1 the city and Stanley Consultants, Inc. for Engineering Services for the Riverview Park Stormwater Improvements Project, for $31,875.

— Approved liquor application renewals for HyVee Gas, Abarrotes Villachuato, LLC, Best Western Marshalltown, Elmwood Country Club and Walgreens.

The next regular meeting of the city council is 5:30 p.m. May 8, in council chambers, Carnegie Building, 10 W. State St. For more information, contact 641-754-5701, or visit


Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or