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Speed bumps, daycare top Victor council agenda


The Victor City Council agreed Thursday, July 16, to build speed bumps in an alley that had caused contention among neighbors.

The alleyway in question is west of Williams Street in Victor. The Victor City Council voted to barricade the alley a few months ago at the request of Victor City Council member Nick Simmons, who lives near the alley.

Simmons said traffic travels through the alley at high speeds, causing a safety hazard for children.

However, neighbors at the other end of the alley say the alley is necessary for access to property. Jon Strudthoff said it is especially needed in the winter when ice and snow makes it difficult for him to enter and leave his driveway.

Attorney Jim Claypool, representing Strudthoff, suggested installing speed bumps or speed trenches in the alley as an alternative to installing a gate. He said a barricade adds an additional hazard by forcing people to back out once they enter the gated alley.

“It seems to me two or three speed bumps would keep people going slow... At least they will slow down after the first time,” Claypool said.

Victor City Council member Lynn DeNeve said he could install limestone and gravel speed bumps free of charge.

He said if the speed bumps are plowed up in the winter, it would be easy to replace them in the spring.

“If next spring we find that it doesn’t work, we will figure something else out,” DeNeve said.

The council voted unanimously to install speed bumps in the alley. Victor City Clerk Fred Stiefel said the city will have to install warning signs for the speed bumps.

Day Care

The Victor City Council voted 3-1 on July 16 to not participate in a loan agreement with a proposed day care facility.

Jamie York and Heather Wolf, who run a day care out of a home in Victor, proposed in May for the city to co-sign a loan agreement with them to build a day care center across from Victor City Hall.

The loan is a 40-year USDA rural development loan. The loan would cover the cost of the purchase of land and construction of the building, approximately $200,000.

By partnering with the city, it allows for the day care facility to gain nonprofit status, allowing York and Wolf to apply for the USDA rural development low interest loan.

As a requirement of the loan agreement, York said the day care’s top priority for all revenue would be to pay rent to the city monthly. The monthly rent would cover the loan payment.

York requested July 16 for the city to either form a committee to work with the day care providers and USDA rural development, or decline the loan agreement.

Victor City Council member Marla Faga pointed out if anything happens to the day care, the city is liable to make the monthly payments.

Council member Nick Simmons said the city is prohibiting York and Wolf from moving forward with their project.

“I think what you are doing is commendable, but we are hurting your cause,” Simmons said. “I make a motion not to support the loan agreement so you can get the ball rolling.”

Council member Lynn DeNeve wanted to know what happens to the agreement if, say, 10 years from now, Wolf and York decide to get out of the business.

The council voted 3-1 to not sign a loan agreement. Council member Dan Cavin voted against the motion. DeNeve, Simmons and council member Joan Robinson voted in favor of the motion. Faga abstained from voting because she is a day care operator.

York requested a building permit from the city and will seek other avenues to fund the project.

Dr. Duke Wilgenbusch, a member of the audience on July 16, said he understands the complications for the city, but he feels the council is doing a disservice by not signing the loan agreement.

“There are very few things more important than having young families move to the city,” Dr. Wilgenbusch said. “This is one way the council has to make that happen… We have to have some help keeping younger families in the city. If you like the idea, get behind it.”

Victor Market Construction

The Victor City Council approved a building permit for Susan Wilgenbusch, owner of the Victor Market, 1003 3rd St.

Wilgenbusch is planning to build a new building for Victor Market at the cost of approximately $300,000. The new building will be built directly behind the current building, she said. Once the new building is operable, the current building will be removed, she said. Wilgenbusch said she hopes to have the new building completed before winter.

In other business...

There are problems with dirt and gravel at the south end of Harrison Street when there is a heavy rain. The council will consider placing silt fences in the farm field south of the end of the street.

• Victor Public Works director Jeff Verdeck said they started painting the inside of the Victor water tower July 16. He said water pressure will be low for the next week.

• The Victor City Council approved the first reading and waived the required third readings for ordinance 313, which provides for a yield sign at the intersection of Clinton Street and Fifth Street for north and south traffic.

• The Victor City Council approved the housing rehabilitation contract with Ben VanWaus Construction on Kristen Kempf’s house, 208 4th St., and approved the amendment to the contract to lower the contract amount to $26,031.79. The council also approved an asbestos abatement contract with Mid-Iowa Environmental.

• The Victor City Council approved a building permit for HLV Community School District to move a garage currently located at 402 Harrison St. to 504 Harrison St.

The next meeting of the Victor City Council is Thursday, Aug. 13, at 7 p.m.

UPDATED July 21, 2009 1:47 PM

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