The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

August 11, 2012

Council moves toward collecting social security numbers

CLINTON — Renters could be one step closer to having social security numbers collected by the city following the Clinton City Council meeting that will happen on Tuesday.

The council will give its first consideration of an identity theft prevention program ordinance, which would be the first step in order for the city to ask for the information.

With the social security numbers, the city would be able to collect unpaid sewer utility bills through the Iowa income offset program.  

Because of a new Iowa law that went into effect July 1, the city will no longer be able to place a lien on a landlord’s property for the renter’s unpaid sewer utility bills as long as the landlord complies with four guidelines. There are 1,400 rental units in Clinton.

Before, the city could ensure payment by rolling the debts into property taxes.

The city currently has $3.5 million in the unpaid bills from all users.

The red flag policy was forwarded to the Committee of the Whole from the Rules and Regulations Committee in July after it was decided that renters should be targeted if social security numbers are collected. The Committee of the Whole forwarded the ordinance at its last meeting.

The policy outlines what the city will do to detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft in connection with the accounts that it would maintain.  

Among the possible red flags listed in the ordinance are receiving a report from a consumer reporting agency, receiving documents that appear to be forged or altered and a person’s social security number is the same as another customer’s.  

“In the event City personnel detect any identified red flags they shall investigate the situation, as necessary, to determine whether there is a material risk that identity theft has occurred or whether there is a benign explanation for the red flag,” the policy states.

The council will also give first consideration to a revised noise control ordinance.

The ordinance details a list of 14 sound emissions that are exempt.  Among the exempt items are sound from church bells, carillons or chimes, sound emitted during the performance of emergency work and the sound emitted by motor-powered muffler-equipped lawn and garden equipment operated between the hours of 7 and 9 a.m.

In addition to the ordinances, the council will vote on a resolution that will restrict parking and travel on Marina Drive.  

The resolution would make the north access to the parking lot an entrance so traffic will only move north.  The resolution will also designate spaces in the south parking lot open to patrons of the Candlelight Inn and those in the north parking lot for slip renters and their guests.

Council members will also consider the city’s cash report from June 30, 2012 as part of the consent agenda.  While some of the balances shown reflect the end-of-year balance, some will change as items are balanced over the next month, City Finance Director Jessica Kinser explained in a memo to Vulich and the City Council.  

Kinser pointed out in her memo to Vulich and the council members the solid waste operating fund and solid waste equipment replacement fund were each negative more than $1 million last fiscal year. The solid waste service will be discussed at the City Services Committee, Kinser wrote.

Overall, the report shows the city with $7.3 million cash on hand as of June 30, 2012.  

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Eagle Point Park Lodge due to mechanical issues at City Hall.

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