The council approved forgivable loan mortgage releases for residences in the city’s housing rehabilitation program at 411 Fifth St. and 611 13th Ave. The homeowners have fulfilled the 10-year depreciation agreements for living in the residences.
The council approved the first reading of an ordinance amending the city’s code to increase the hotel motel tax to 7 percent from 5 percent. The increase was previously approved by city voters in 2006 but never got passed on to the state and was not noticed until recently checked by city staff. At least 50 percent of the revenue must be used for recreation, cultural or entertainment type purposes. The other 50 percent can be used for any general fund purpose, but, traditionally, all of the money has been used for parks and recreation.
The cemetery budget was adjusted to include $200 to $300 for installation of a new commode in the chapel and $1,450 to replace a clutch for the John Deere tractor. A request for 4.5 acres of ground to be plowed and re-seeded was deterred for consideration at budget time. Lindner said it would cost about $2,500.
The council discussed a disorderly house ordinance to use as an enforcement tool for police control at houses that host problematic activities. Police Chief David Porter said the ordinance would give greater latitude in dealing with tenant and/or landlord.
Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Lake reported 1.3 miles of the new mountain bike trail at Westbrook Park had been completed with 287 volunteer hours or work. He also said there were 856 current memberships at the DeWitt Fitness Center.
Lake said the DeWitt Aquatic Center was open 81 of 87 days in the 2013 season and had 25,388 visitors in attendance, about 700 fewer than last year.