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City hears JDA report on Housing Survey

By Staff | Mar 11, 2011

The Rugby City Council picked up the ball on the Housing Survey Report commissioned by the Job Development Authority. Brenda Foster, director, JDA, presented a copy of the housing survey report to the city at their Monday, March 7, meeting. Foster gave an overview of the report and asked for questions.

One of the first questions raised was “Is the city willing to annex some land (for a housing development)?” The council decided to wait until Mayor Dave Cichos and Councilman Terry Wentz were present and informed to make a decision on that question.

Gerry Jacobson, who was conducting the meeting in the mayor’s absence, suggested that the next step is to form a committee to examine areas of expansion. Jim Hoffert and Neil Lotvedt volunteered to be on the committee as representatives from the city council. One of the avenues they would need to explore is to find a place for a possible new 8-plex apartment building in Rugby. This was one of the recommendations of the housing survey.

The city, proactively, had, at a previous meeting, set up tax exemption incentive guidelines for residential and commercial improvements which was another recommendation in the survey report. At this March meeting they approved a policy and guidelines for tax exemption for new and expanding businesses. Applications for tax exemptions will be available at City Hall and the JDA office in Hartley’s Mall.

A total of 24 recommendations were made in the housing survey report. The city will most likely prioritize and begin work on the first few priorities soon.

In further business before the council, the water, sewer, street committee recommends that the city consider purchasing an automatic water meter reading system. With this system, the city will be able to read water meters via radio by either walking or driving the route with a handheld or mobile device. Also, if there has been a leak or backflow situation during the month that would be recorded at the time of the monthly reading. This system would eliminate the need for homeowners to read the meter each month and submit their findings to the city.

The committee thoroughly researched this system and recommends the purchase of the Sensus PMM meters with migratable to fixed base transmitters. The committee further recommends that the city fund the $350,000.00 water meter project with approximately $175,000 from the water supply fund and to borrow approximately $175,000 to complete the payment. The city voted unanimously to purchase the Sensus PMM meters with the above funding recommendations. Wentz was absent and not voting.

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