City of Nichols to honor historic district with plaque

NICHOLS, Iowa–In 2018, the City of Nichols began the process of nominating the Ijem Avenue Commercial Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places. Sept. 18, 2020, the district officially made the National Register. To honor this achievement, the City of Nichols plans to place a commemorative bronze plaque near city hall. The Muscatine County Historical Preservation Commission will help cover half of the cost of the plaque and the City of Nichols will pay the remaining $300. The Nichols City Council hopes to create a place outside of city hall that allows them to showcase both the completed city rock and the plaque.

Along with making plans for the new historic district, the council also discussed purchasing a new dashboard camera and Go-Pro body camera for Police Chief Jeff Jirak. Jirak investigated models compatible with those used by the City of Muscatine and found that together, they would cost about $5,300 with a little extra needed to cover the cost of mounting the dashboard camera. The council unanimously approved purchasing and installing the equipment, so long as it cost fewer that $6,000 total.

Following an unsuccessful attempt by Jirak to even out the rough places in the alleys using his personal equipment, council member J. J. Hudson contacted Nichols Ag about renting the correct equipment to finish the job. Hudson plans to donate his time to the project while the city will cover the cost of the rental. At this time, the council does not plan to add additional road rock to any of the alleys.

The council continued their discussion of creating an ATV ordinance. They affirmed their intentions to create a simple ordinance that does not unduly restrict people’s ability to use them. The council plans to have a draft of the ordinance ready later this year and then start having public hearings on it.

As part of his budget report, Treasurer Aeneas Schmidt shared that he would complete Nichol’s application to receive its federal American Rescue Plan Money. Schmidt said the city will receive around $54,000. Though this money does come with spending restrictions, it can go to infrastructure projects, such as the city’s sewer and lift station reconstruction project.