NICHOLS, Iowa–At their February meeting, the Nichols City Council approved funding for a pair of projects. These included renovations to the fire station and a new stop sign at the intersection of Short Street and Grand Avenue.
During the fire department’s monthly report to the council, Fire Chief J. J. Hudson shared that the restrooms at the fire station required some maintenance and improvement, as they have not had much work done to them since the station opened in 2006. The council unanimously approved $1,200 for the fire department to use on the renovation project.
After discussion at their January meeting, the council approved purchasing a stop sign for Short Street with all in favor. Clerk and Treasurer Aeneas Schmitz researched purchasing the sign from Iowa Prison Industries and stated that he planned to order the sign from them. Based on the estimates provided by Iowa Prison Industries, it may take 12 weeks or more for the sign to arrive in Nichols. The council will not replace a street sign that got damaged on Highway 22 because it belongs to the Iowa Department of Transportation. At this time, they did not consider the street sign on Walnut Street in such bad condition that it needed immediate replacement.
In other business, the Nichols Volunteer Fire Department recognized one of their newer members, Liz Kloser, for her recent donation to the department. Kloser’s employer, Green State Credit Union, recognized her as their Volunteer of the Year and gave her $5,000 to donate to a cause of her choice. Kloser will split the donation evenly between fire station maintenance and improvement and the volunteer firefighters’ needs.
As efforts to get grants to fund the sewer improvement project continue, Schmitz shared that another round of community development block grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development will take place in April and that Nichols will apply for one. He also shared that he has a Food and Drug Administration grant nearly completed that he will submit soon. To ensure that all grants get completed correctly and sent in on time, Schmitz suggested the waste water committee meet periodically, such as weekly or every few weeks. Committee members seemed amenable to the idea.
Though work by the Iowa Department of Transportation on the sidewalk improvement project will not begin until 2023, the department requested an open house Feb. 10 to give all citizens, but especially property owners for the 36 parcels affected by the project, the opportunity to learn more about it. Brian De Perez, an employee of Snyder and Associates, attended the open house on behalf of the Department of Transportation to share information and answer questions. He also gave property owners the opportunity to sign easements that would allow them to have some of the concrete on their driveways replaced at no cost as part of the project.
Along with these items, the council held its final public hearing on levying the maximum amount of property tax this year. They had no public comments, and approved the new levy with all ayes.”