Decorah Council awards bids, alters council/mayor compensation plan

By Denise Lana,

During its regular semi-monthly meeting Monday, Sept. 5, the Decorah City Council held a public hearing taking bids for the city’s 911 Dispatch/Shelter Generator Project. No one came forth, and the council proceeded to vote, unanimously approving the plans and awarding the contract. 

This project, which focuses on the installation of a permanent backup generator and transfer switch, will be installed in the basement of the city library, and will serve as backup power for the city’s emergency dispatch center and will help during lengthy outages. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the city a grant for $90,934.31, which matches the city engineer’s estimate for the project. One bid for the project was received from Perry Novak Electric, Inc., with a bid for $90,002, below the grant amount. Council voted and unanimously awarded the bid to Perry Novak.   

Also during Monday’s meeting, the third reading was held for an ordinance that would alter city mayor and council financial compensation. Currently, the mayor receives a yearly payment of $4,800, and the council members receive $50 per meeting. The ordinance considered would increase the mayor’s payment to $5,200 and council members would be paid for work sessions and committee meetings where the whole body of members is required to attend. Iowa State Code says that, by ordinance, the council can vote for changes in compensation, but they cannot become effective during the term in which the change is adopted. Nor can any changes be adopted during November and December in the year of a regular city election. Additionally, any changes in compensation will become effective at the beginning of the term of the council members elected at the election next following the change in compensation. The second reading was passed by a vote of 6-1. The third reading was also passed by a 6-1 vote, and the new compensation plan will go into effect January 2024.  

A new member was unanimously approved to fill a vacancy of the city’s Board of Adjustment. Bill Courtney submitted the lone application for the position and will fill the vacancy left by Kraig Tweed’s recent resignation. Courtney’s term will be until December 2023, at which time reappointment will be required.  

Decorah Municipal Airport is hosting the International Cessna 120-140 Convention Sept. 12-16, and there will be more than 50 airplanes at the airport throughout the week. 

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