City council hears update on economic prospects

By Shelia Tomkins

The Guttenberg city council, in its first meeting of the new year, heard an update on efforts to attract and expand business in the community.

Mayor Russ Loven led councilmembers Virginia Saeugling, Fred Schaub, Dave Schlueter, Jane Parker and Steve Friedlein through the evening's short agenda. Assistant City Manager Julie Zittergruen was also in attendance.

GEIDC report

Mary Beth Theis, director of Guttenberg Economic and Industrial Development Commission (GEIDC), spoke to the council about three prospects for local development. 

Theis reported that Kann Mfg. of Guttenberg has shown an interest in a vacant building in the Industrial Park. The building needs electrical upgrades, estimated at $25,000. Theis asked the council to consider working with Kann's to provide incentives. 

She also reported on a manufacturer that has shown an interest in the former A.J. Spiegel building in the Industrial Park. The manufacturer is seeking incentives from the city in addition to those provided by the State of Iowa and Clayton County Development.

Theis said that a developer is interested in building an apartment complex for independent living in the vacant lots just south of the municipal building. A three-story 36-unit building for those age 50+ is being considered. Theis asked the council if any incentives could be offered. 

Mayor Loven expressed willingness to work with the three prospects, and appointed councilors Saeugling and Schaub to a committee along with himself and  the city manager to make recommendations on incentives.  

Official appointments

Steve Friedlein took the oath of office as Mayor Pro-Tem.

Other official appointments were:

City Attorney: Michael Schuster

Assistant City Attorney: James Garrett

City Manager: Mary Willett

Fire Chief: Chad Esmann

County Communications: Fred Schaub, Robin Esmann and Virginia Saeugling

E-911 Board: Fred Schaub and Virginia Saeugling

Other business

A public hearing will be held at the regular February council meeting on plans to issue General Obligation bonds to finance the paving of Acre Street and the purchase of a new vehicle for the fire department.

The council approved a resolution to vacate and sell part of a city street to Dennis and Julie Zittergruen, as discussed at the November meeting.

As a follow-up to discussion at last month's meeting, the council okayed a resolution that gives the Guttenberg RV Park an encroachment permit that will automatically renew each year, until either party wishes it to stop. 

Police Chief George Morteo gave his monthly report to the council, and had February vacation dates approved. 

The council will soon begin its annual series of budget work sessions at dates to be announced.

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