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By Mike Scott
Inflation is taking another bite out of Kahoka resident’s wallets.
At their Tuesday, August 9 City Council meeting, the board reviewed a rate increase from Kohlmorgan Hauling from Keokuk, for trash collection services.
Citing increase fuel and labor costs, Kohlmorgan will now charge the city $9000 per month for waste collection. The city currently has 704 residences using the service, at a new cost to the city of $12.78 per customer per month.
Currently, senior residents pay $9.00 per month, and all other residents pay $10.00 per month on their city bill. The fee is mandatory for all residences.
The new rate will be $13 per month, and it will continue to be mandatory.
“We can’t lose money on this,” cautioned Alderman Larry Young. “We need to watch it closely,”
The council will also consider seeking bids for a new contract from all area waste collection companies.
Business customers in Kahoka were notified by Kohlmorgan last month that the rate for a common two-yard dumpster increased from $61.95 per month to $95 per month, an increase of over 50 percent.
The council also approved adding one block of North Washington Street, from Commercial to Chestnut, to this year’s paving project, at an additional cost of approximately $27,944 dollars. That brings the total paving expense approved for this year to roughly $180,000. Historically, over the past several years, the council has spent around $100,000 per year for paving.
The council also discussed the need to repave Walnut street near the truck parking lot. Previous waterline work in the middle of the street has left the street filled with rock, and the truck traffic is breaking it up further. A cost estimate for that is $25,000.
“Mark my words, asphalt won’t last long there,” said Alderman Young.
“It needs eight inches of concrete,’ said Alderman John Gaus
The board agreed to get a cement quote for the project.
The council also reported that the O-Mak-O-Hak walking trail paving had been completed at a cost $30,540.
Alderman Young has contacted the mowing contractor about the condition of the cemetery, and let him know that the city is unhappy with the way it is being maintained.
Young also expressed his concern about dead trees in the cemetery, and the damage they could do if they fell on headstones.
City crews have already removed two trees, and will work on others in the cemetery and elsewhere while the weather is dry.
Following a brief tax hearing to review the proposed tax rates, the council approved the following tax levies:
General Revenue-$0.7942 per $100 of assessed valuation. This is a slight increase of $.0042 from last year.
The Parks levy and the Library levy are unchanged at $0.2400 (park) and $0.1500 (library) per $100 of assessed valuation.
In other business, the council:
• Formally approved the hiring of Police Chief Mike Newbold at a yearly wage of $45,000 (based on hourly).
• Discussed plumbing issues at the pool lockeroom.
“We need to scope it to see if we have a collapsed pipe,” said Alderman Les Billings.
• Approved six building permits.
appointment of Caroline Majors to the Sever Library Board.
• Kahoka resident Jeannie Ray expressed concerns about the water quality at her home, which is located on a dead-end waterline. The dead end allows for sediment to settle when the water is not running. The council explained that is why they have applied for grant funding on a new water plant, agreed to see what could be done in the meantime.
• Approved the purchase of a replacement turbidity meter to measure water clarity at the water plant. The cost is approximately $3700 plus $1400 for the control board.
• Fire Chief Mick Wood reported that they are looking for a used ambulance to replace the equipment truck, which is the converted Frito-Lay van. The council approved spending up to $50,000, contingent upon the rural fire department paying half of the price.
• The council will hold a special open meeting at the Kahoka Fire Station on Wednesday, August 17, to tour the station and review equipment.