ELLSWORTH - When the Ellsworth City Council held its regular session Aug.13, council members looked at an electric system upgrade for their town, approved payment for drainage assessments, and considered submitting a REAP grant application.
Brian Lammers, director of Hamilton County Conservation, was at the meeting to discuss submission of the grant requesting $50,000 to complete a 0.4-mile section of the trail from Delphi Street to the east end of the South Skunk River Bridge. The council voted to approve the grant application submission for trail development.
Another visitor at Monday's meeting was an engineer from ESCO Energy Services, who was there to discuss the study their firm conducted regarding upgrading the city's electric system. He recommended the city should consider rebuilding the system underground, which would result in fewer maintenance costs and less risk to the system. The estimated cost of the upgrade is $2.5 million to $3 million. The engineer felt the city could bond for the improvement and would need to raise rates by $0.01/kwh to pay for the bonds.
The council tabled action on the matter but plans to take up the matter again at its September meeting.
Also on Monday, the council reviewed a model ordinance on recreational fires and burning, as supplied by Iowa Codification. The sections pertinent to Ellsworth were discussed, including the type of waste permitted to be burned, where burning can be done, and other restrictions. At the September meeting, the council will consider an amendment to the current ordinance.
The council approved payment of $16,059.86 for drainage assessments, the city's portion for streets, alleys, and other property in the city. Everyone in the Sogard Drainage District received an assessment for the study that was conducted regarding surface flooding.