Despite being on the edge of passage, the Clinton City Council will need to take one more vote in order to implement an identity theft protection program as well as a revised noise ordinance.

The first item was on the agenda for second, third and final passage, but because of a dissenting vote from council member John Rowland, at-large, it was not adopted at Tuesday night's meeting. The City Council needed six “yes” votes from all present members at last night’s meeting to suspend the rules and push for final passage. Councilwoman Maggie Klaes, Ward 1, was absent.   

The identity theft policy would allow the city to implement another set of policies and procedures to collect social security numbers from residents.

The target population for social security number collection would be renters. The Internal Operations Committee originally discussed collecting social security numbers from all residents in order to ensure payment on the city collected sewer utility. After negative public reaction, the IOC moved to target renters because of a new Iowa law which prevents the city from placing a lien on the owner's property because of a tenants unpaid utility bills.

The city is currently out $3.5 million in unpaid sewer bills from customers who own as well as those who rent.

With a program in place, which the identity theft program lays the foundation for, the city would be able to use the social security numbers to collect unpaid sewer bills through the Iowa income offset program from as many of the tenants of the 1,400 rental units in town as it sees fit.

The council met the same circumstances when it attempted to pass for the second, third and final time a revision to the noise ordinance.  

The revision originally came to the Rules and Regulations Committee after  bells from a Clinton church spurred complaints. The revision includes exemptions for sounds from church bells, carillons and chimes, the sound emitted by motor-powered muffler-equipped lawn and garden equipment operated between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.  and the emission of sound in performance of emergency work, among other items.

Rowland also cast a no vote on this ordinance.  The council did not discuss the items, but because members did not receive the six votes necessary to suspend the rules and adopt, they will be on the agenda for final passage at the Sept. 11 meeting.

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