Wayland receives grant funds for owner-occupied housing rehabilitation program
By TRISHA PHELPS
Mt. Pleasant News
WAYLAND — After two years of trying, the City of Wayland has received a grant through the Iowa Department of Economic Development in the amount of $282,992 for owner-occupied housing rehabilitation.
According to Dan Eberhardt of SEIRPC, the goal of the project is to make improvements on eight homes in the East Main Street and North Jefferson Street area. The city has agreed to match funds, up to $1,500 per home.
“There were 64 applications and only 18 got funded,” said Eberhardt. “(Wayland) is the only area in southeast Iowa, a 16-county radius, that is going to get funded.”
According to Eberhardt, the next step in the process, after the city receives a contract from the state, is to have an informational meeting for homeowners in the selected area.
“We hope our first house will be started in the late fall or early winter,” said Eberhardt. “We should get all eight homes wrapped up in about two years.”
While some homeowners in Wayland will now get some assistance in renovating their houses, others seem to have difficulty keeping up with mowing the yard, according to deputy clerk Marcia Chalupa.
“Do we have to send an abatement every year for them to mow?” Chalupa asked City Attorney Mike Vance. “They probably haven’t been mowed in two years. I have one that they did come and mow, but now it needs to be mowed again. Do I send one every year?”
“Absolutely,” responded Vance. “You want to make sure its really long and baleable. You don’t have any way to go about it other than your ordinance, so you have to send them an abatement notice to fix the nuisance. If they fix it, then you no longer have a nuisance until the next time.”
Chalupa expressed concern that the same properties were creating the nuisance and she felt she kept sending abatements on a near weekly basis.
“Maybe we should burn it off next time,” joked Mayor Brad Roth.
“I don’t recommend burning for many reasons,” responded Vance.
No action was taken on the issue.
City Clerk Bev Conrad informed the council that the lagoon security camera approved at the last meeting as on back-order so it has not yet been installed.
The council also:
• Approved city employee Armando Cardenas hourly wage at $9 per hour.
• Discussed billing options for health insurance changes due to the Affordable Care Act.
• Discussed request for proposals for the fiscal year 2014 financial examination.
• Discussed a water rate increase .
The next city council meeting will be June 18, at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.