Keota Council Rewords Livestock Ordinance

Casey Jarmes
The News-Review

KEOTA – During the May 6 meeting of the Keota City Council, the council discussed an ambiguously worded animal control law affecting a city councilman. Councilman Curt Burroughs explained that in 2020, when all of the current council members except Heath McDonald were also on the council, the city received complaints about sheep, ponies and other farm animals being kept on properties on the edge of the city. Back then, the council amended the animal control ordinance to allow livestock to be kept on properties of more than 2.5 acres located on the edge of town. Although the council intended this to include properties that have a road go through them, that was not made clear in the ordinance. Recently, the city received anonymous complaints about animals on Councilman McDonald’s pasture on the edge of town, which is more than 2.5 acres but isn’t continuous. The council amended the animal control ordinance to remove ambiguity and make it better reflect their vision from 2020. McDonald abstained from this vote.

At the same meeting, the council amended the special ordinances for applying for grants through the city. Previously, the city would submit grants on the behalf of private entities up to the deadline date for grants. Recently, City Administrator Alycia Horras received a grant application on the due date, forcing her to work until 11:30 p.m. to get it submitted in time. Under the new policy, grants submitted through the city must be given to the city within seven days of the deadline, to give the city time to look over and triple-check the grants before submitting them

Chad McCleary of the water department told the council that there had been problems with the water department’s well, which went down twice in April. The first time this was caused by a damaged motor and the second time it was caused by a short in the wire leading to the plant. Both problems were fixed and the plant was running fine at the time of the meeting. McCleary noted that the well had been in use for more than ten years, which he said was a great length of time for a well to last.

Following a budget meeting with the library board to restructure the library budget, the council approved a series of raises and new hires at the library. Normally, these raises would be done at the end of June, but Burroughs explained that it was better to do so while the city was already working on the library budget. The library director was given a raise of $3 per hour and assistant directors were given a raise of $1.50 per hour, beginning in July. In addition, the council approved hiring a part-time worker to help out on Fridays for $13-14 per hour and hiring a janitor at a rate of $40 per week.

Library Director Tonia Greiner talked to the council about getting a leaf filter system for the library, which has had problems with leaves filling gutters. Griener passed a $8,103 quote from one company on to the council. Councilman Mike Bender stated the bid was “extremely high” and that he knew another company who would give a cheaper quote. The council agreed to put the leaf filter out for bids.

The council gave Horras approval to apply for the $25,000 Major Grant from the Keokuk County Community Endowment Foundation. The city hopes to use this money to convert the city property on Green Street, formerly a mobile home park, into an RV park. Horras stated that she had been “bombarded” by people wanting swim lessons; she also noted that the city should make sure people know to contact the city, not specific lifeguards, and that several lifeguards had received calls. The council discussed hiring a part-time janitor for city hall, who would clean the council room and bathrooms; the council gave Horras approval to reach out to candidates.




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