The Horton City Commission met for the first time in May, and the group heard a proposal from Jefferson County Memorial Hospital to purchase Mission Village Living Center.
The proposal listed a purchase price of $112,120.00 with Right of First Refusal going to the city should the group ever decide to sell the property. Commissioners held varying opinions on acting right away or tabling the discussion, but final decision was made to table the discussion in order to propose changes to the Right of First Changes clause, as well as to discuss portioning off land east of the nursing home.
The group also discussed the waived late fees on utility payments, with city staff growing concerned that unpaid bills are stacking up. The decision was made to continue to waive late fees until the executive order of the governor is lifted, but to require prompt payment of back bills once that takes place. The Commission agreed to revisit the issue at the next meeting.
City Administrator John Calhoon reported on the properties on East 8th that were damaged by fire in December of last year. The properties need to be cleaned up, and Calhoon offered the Commission options of the City tearing down the remainders of the properties and charging property owners $500 for dump fees and cleanup, or to take legal action. The Commission agreed that since no attempt at cleanup had been done, the City does not intend to make a deal with the property owners. Calhoon said he would work up a cost estimate for the City to tear down the properties and present it to the owners and to have the police department serve 30-day letters to the property owners.
There was a lengthy discussion on the potential of opening the pool. Calhoon said he did not want to make an outright decision to close the pool for the summer, but was dubious at the notion that social distancing would go away soon. The Commission decided to set a tentative opening date of June 15th, with further discussion to take place at future meetings. This date has since been pushed back to June 30th.
The commission voted to make changes to an agreement with BG Consultants regarding the spillway project. Calhoon informed the group that an insurance claim check of $14,978 had been received for damage to a water pump, and also discussed with the Commission that the County Commission had recently voted to not chip and seal streets in Hiawatha and Horton this year. Commissioner Wade Edwards asked Calhoon to ask the County what the taxes the city pays to the county are intended for. Calhoon said he would have city crews price patching options for roads that were intended for chip and seal.
Mayor Stirton acknowledged May 4 as International Firefighters Day and thanked local firefighters. Stirton also read a proclamation declaring the month of May as Water Safety Awareness Month.