Three of MPD’S finest receive distinguished service award

Water Works CEO in critical condition

Monday night’s city council meeting opened on a sobering tone, when At-Large Councilor Leon Lamer asked for prayers and support for the family of Marshalltown Water Works CEO Steve Sincox.

Lamer said he had received a text earlier in the day notifying him Sincox was in the Intensive Care Unit of Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines. His condition is critical.

“His son said, ‘I just wish he would wake up,'” Lamer said. “Let us keep Steve and his family in our prayers.”

Sincox took over as Water Works CEO when Lamer retired a number of years ago.

Previously, Sincox, an Ottumwa native, had been a long-tenured and highly-respected Water Works employee.

Mayor Joel Greer asked all in council chambers to join him in a moment of silence and to pray for Sincox.

Distinguished Service Awards

Three Marshalltown police officers were presented the Marshalltown Police Department’s coveted Distinguished Service Award by Chief of Police Mike Tupper.

Sgt. Sadie Weekley and Officers Chad Hillers and Randall Kessler were lauded by Tupper for outstanding service to the department.

The chief said Weekley had recently received a promotion to sergeant. Her award was based on completing a nine-year assignment working in the criminal investigations unit. She specialized in the areas of domestic violence and sexual assault investigation. “Weekley has established herself as an expert in these fields, and is recognized state-wide for her efforts,” Tupper said. “She has utilized this expertise to serve as a guest instructor at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy in Johnston.”

In citing Hillers, Tupper said he had recently completed an assignment as a narcotics investigate. He spent nearly six years in this endeavor. He was involved in the successful investigation and prosecution of several high profile and important drug cases. He has distinguished himself as an expert in the field of drug investigations. Because of his work, “our community is a safer place to live, work and play.”

In honoring Kessler, Tupper said he had recently completed an assignment working in the criminal investigations unit as a general crimes investigator.

“Kessler worked in this capacity for more than 11 years,” Tupper said. “He specialized in the areas of computer-related crimes and crimes against children. He represented the department on a statewide task force responsible for the investigation of those crimes. He successfully worked multiple cases that were subsequently prosecuted at the federal level. As a direct result of his work, several violent offenders have been held accountable for their criminal actions.”

Veterans Memorial Coliseum Update

Architect Damion Spilman of the GTG firm in Johnston gave a brief, but important update on progress of completing feasibility study for the venerable Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

At issue for the 91-year-old structure is whether or not to make substantial investments in the building’s layout, plumbing, air conditioning and heating, among other facets, which would allow for more community use.

For example, an elevator to be built on the building’s exterior has been proposed to make the facility’s upper floors more handicap accessible.

Managed by Parks and Recreation Department, the facility is used by many residents daily for a variety of recreational pursuits.

“I am following up what was approved by council in January to move ahead with the feasibility study,” Spilman said. “We talked about funding at that meeting. We have been adding detail, and clarifying things from that model. We are finalizing those plans with the goal of completing them by Sept. 15. We would present the plan specifications and budget for the project.”

A volunteer commission made up residents, veterans and others have met on a regular basis with Parks and Recreation Department Director Anne Selness and staff to determine a plan of action for major improvements or remain with status quo.

Lead-based Paint Hazard Grant Program

Councilors voted 7-0 to allow Housing & Community Development Director Michelle Spohnheimer to apply for

a lead based paint hazard reduction program to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development for Marshalltown only. Spohnheimer said the department had been successful in receiving five grants since 2003.

“The application is due Aug. 2,” said Spohnheimer, who will prepare the application. “We expect to apply for $2.5 million to $3 million. City match is 10 percent, meaning the city would be required to allocate $250,000 to $300,000 of funds or in-kind contributions, such as contributions by other city staff toward the project.

She said the goal would be to eliminate lead-based paint in 130 homes, or an average of $14,000 per home.

Greer and other councilors lauded Spohnheimer grant writing skills since she joined the city in 2003.

The next regular meeting of the city council is 5:30 p.m. July 23 in council chambers, Carnegie Building, 10 W. S. State St. For more information, contact 641-754-5701, or visit the city’s website at marshalltown-ia.gov for meeting agenda packets and to subscribe to agenda notices and department news.