Updating the ordinances
Everly council looks to simplify codebook
February 18, 2021
The Everly City Council on Monday agreed to move forward with a review and update of the town’s ordinances.
The last time ordinances received a lookover and refresh was in 2010. The city will work with Northwest Iowa Planning and Development to update rules and make changes where necessary over the coming year.
The council, along with Mayor Brad Behrens, expressed interest in simplifying some ordinances if state law allows it. Some rules have no flexibility, as they are codified in Iowa law.
“I hate doing this,” Behrens said of the update process. “A lot of times the stuff Northwest Iowa Planning and Development wants to do is not made for a town of 600 people.”
Council Member Tara Patrick suggested the city “weed out” any unnecessary rules during the update process to make the codebook less convoluted.
“They’ve got stuff that doesn’t apply to us and will never apply to us,” she said.
The council’s Overview Committee comprised of Josh Muckey and Tracey Grigg-Schuver will begin the review process and target areas of concern. Behrens reiterated that any changes should be kept as simple as possible unless state law specifies otherwise.
“We don’t need to go way right or way left on anything,” he said. “We want to cut it the right way, but we don’t want to go overboard.”
• Sewage pond update
Engineer Brian Schmidt reported that winter work at the city’s sewage treatment ponds is going well. The multi-million dollar upgrade is expected to wrap up sometime this year, and Schmidt said weather has generally cooperated this winter.
“Things are working out alright,” he said. “It was nice to get it done while it was dry.”
Schmidt expected most work to stop soon for “a couple months.” Finishing touches will get underway once things thaw out.
“We’re looking forward to getting it done in early summer,” Schmidt said. “We couldn’t have asked for better conditions, except for this cold.”
The project has a deadline of Oct. 15, 2021.
• Other business
Both Behrens and the council gave positive remarks about changes at the library. Jeannett Palmer and Christie Seivert recently took the reigns at the local book lender following the resignation of former librarian Amy Byro, and the duo has been making program changes as well as other tweaks.
“Wow. It looks a lot different,” said Behrens. “I think everything is going good down there.”
Patrick said local constituents have been pleased.
“I’ve heard a lot of positive comments and nothing negative,” she said.
The council wrapped up the meeting with discussion about the definition of a full-time employee. According to City Clerk Kristi Fliss, a full-timer is defined as someone who works 30 regularly scheduled hours a week.
The council expressed interest in upping the threshold to 36-40 regularly scheduled hours a week. Nothing was decided and the issue will be discussed down the road.
“I think it’s something that should be addressed and corrected for the future,” Behrens said. “I’m not saying there is a problem now and I’m not trying to single anybody out. I’m just trying to be proactive.”