HJ - New Council Members Elected 2019

Clarinda City Manager Gary McClarnon, left, administers the oath of office to council members Jeff McCall, Craig Hill and Austin Ascherl during the final Clarinda City Council meeting of 2019 Wednesday, Dec. 11, at Clarinda City Hall. Hill and McCall were re-elected to the council in November, while Ascherl will begin his first term Jan. 1, 2020. (Herald-Journal photo by Kent Dinnebier)

Incumbents Craig Hill and Jeff McCall, along with newly elected Clarinda City Council member Austin Ascherl, were sworn into office Wednesday, Dec. 11, at Clarinda City Hall.

Clarinda City Manager Gary McClarnon administered the oath near the conclusion of the council meeting Wednesday. The three council members were victorious in the Nov. 5 city election.

Ascherl will officially take office Jan. 1, 2020. He replaces council member Gary Alger, who did not seek re-election to the council. Alger has served on the city council for 12 years.

“I would like to thank everybody connected with the city, the city council and the citizens for 12 good years. It’s been a very good council,” Alger said.

The other council members then in turn thanked Alger for his service and welcomed Ascherl to the city council. Mayor Lisa Hull then presented Alger with a certificate of recognition and a gift from the city to thank him for his service.

Earlier in the meeting, a public hearing was held on a proposed sewer revenue loan agreement not to exceed $15,400,000 for the construction of the new sewer plant in Clarinda. No objections were raised during the hearing.

Therefore, the loan agreement providing for the issuance of sewer revenue bonds to fund the sewer project was approved by the council. The agreement covered 20 years with an interest rate of 1.75 percent.

“Basically, it’s set up the same as our water notes we have. We do have to make sure we have net revenues of 10 percent of our total annual payment,” McClarnon said.

The council also approved the five-year Airport Capital Improvement Plan during the meeting. The council previously discussed the plan at its Nov. 13 meeting.

Projects included in the plan are the rehabilitation of the paved runway in Fiscal Year 2021. Then, in 2022, the plan calls for repairs to the taxiway, turnarounds and apron.

Clarinda would then update its Airport Layout Plan in 2023. McClarnon said it has been more than 10 years since the city has updated the plan.

“The rest of it is more long-term stuff that may or may not happen. We’ll look at everything again next year at this time,” McClarnon said.

Based on current funding, 90 percent of the projects at the airport are paid with federal funds and the city is responsible for the remaining 10 percent. However, McClarnon said if there is extra discretionary funding available at the federal level, a project could be paid at 100 percent.

“That’s why we keep leaving the parallel taxiway on here. If they have discretionary funds of $2.5 million they want to give us, if we don’t have it on the plan we wouldn’t qualify for that,” McClarnon said.

“We don’t have to do the projects that are on the plan, but we can’t do a project that is not on the plan,” McCall said.

In other business, the council designated McClarnon as the designated officer for the city credit card program. This grants McClarnon access to the credit card accounts, along with the card holders, to make any necessary changes.

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