Saying farewell

Lowrance thanks citizens, council, staff during four-year tenure

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS Marshalltown Mayor Jim Lowrance, left, said farewell to Marshalltown City Council members, city employees and citizens at Wednesday’s meeting. His term as mayor is set to expire after four years at the position.

Outgoing Marshalltown Mayor Jim Lowrance presided over his final Marshalltown City Council meeting Wednesday, and he took time to thank Marshalltown citizens, city staff and the council for their work and support since his election.

“Since this is my last meeting chairing the city council … I do want to take the opportunity to thank the citizens of Marshalltown for allowing me to serve as mayor for the last four years,” Lowrance said. “I’ve enjoyed, most of all I think, the interaction with the members of the public.”

He said council members have all worked hard during his time as mayor.

“This has been an excellent council,” Lowrance said. “I can’t honestly say that you agreed with each other on every issue, but, when there were issues, you worked through them.”

He added he believes the council members have kept the best interests of the city and the citizens in mind while making decisions.

Finally, Lowrance thanked the city employees for their work.

“My thanks go to the employees of the city because the accomplishments that the city has made, the growth that the city has had, none of those successes and achievements would have occurred without the work of the city employees,” he said, adding the he sees the employees as “unsung heroes.”

Wednesday’s meeting brought a handful of action items, including a resolution concerning application fees for rental properties in Marshalltown. After some discussion, the item was tabled until the next council meeting.

“This is a proposal of a new application fee for occupied and unoccupied rental properties,” said city Housing and Community Development Director Michelle Spohnheimer. “We are proposing a $50 application fee for new, unoccupied properties, and then a $500 application fee for occupied ones.”

She proposed that the change be made in May of 2018 to give property owners time to be made aware.

“Our ideal would be that most people come to us prior, that’s always what we encourage,” Spohnheimer said. “If I were to estimate, it’s not uncommon for us to come across an unregistered rental if not every week, every other week.”

Council member Leon Lamer said he would like to see how the proposed fees compare to other city’s fees, and moved for the item to be tabled. His motion was seconded by council member Bill Martin.

“I’d like to see some comparisons before we do this,” Lamer said.

The council voted 5-1 in favor of tabling the item until the next council meeting, with member Al Hoop as the sole “no” vote.

One item approved Wednesday was a facade grant for Iowa Valley Antiques of 16 W. Main St.

“This particular property owner would like to do a cleaning and tuckpointing on your brick,” said Marshalltown Central Business District (CBD) Code and Facade Grant Program Chairman Doug Husak. “I am going to ask that, if you approve this, that you do this subject to this being cleared by the site plan review.”

He said the total estimated cost of the project is $7,500 with a reimbursement of $1,825. Husak also estimated the site plan review would be complete within the next 30 days.

The next Marshalltown City Council meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 8 in the Council Chambers at 10 W. State St.

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Contact Adam Sodders at (641)) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com