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West Burlington to Borrow Short-Term

Jun 9, 2013

The West Burlington City Council could award the contract for the construction of the city's new Public Works facility later this month.

West Burlington City Hall

City Administrator Dan Gifford says the new building is expected to cost $3.75-million, with engineering and design expenses included.

He says the city will have to borrow the money needed to pay for it, which prompted a recent discussion on the length of the repayment plan.

The city council wants to pay the least amount of interest, so a repayment plan over seven years will be developed.

Gifford says a seven-year repayment plan, as opposed to 10, 15, or even 20 years, should secure a lower interest rate for West Burlington.

He says there is one drawback to the proposal: a shorter repayment plan means higher payments.

That, in turn, means the city would not have as much money available for other infrastructure work while the money is being repaid.

Gifford notes that seven-years is an aggressive repayment plan for a city of West Burlington's size when it comes to such a large project.

Construction is expected to get underway in late July or early August.

Work could soon get underway on a vacant lot in West Burlington.

The demolition of the former West Burlington Middle School resulted in four lots that could be used for single-family housing.

Those lots have been now been sold at public auction. 

Gifford says the city received $15,000 for each lot (70' x 120'), which was the minimum bid.

He says one local developer purchased two of the lots while another local developer bought the other two.

Gifford says the paperwork to complete the sales should be finalized by mid-July.  He says the developers plan to get started as soon as possible.

He says the relatively small size of the lots and the current zoning limits construction options to single family options.  Provisions have also been put in place to prevent the lots from being combined.

One of the four lots will be marketed to low-to-moderate income (LMI) families.

Gifford says that is due to certain LMI funds being used to pay for the demolition of the former school.  The city had acquired it from the school district for $1.


West Burlington now has a citizens panel to handle animal-related issues, including whether an animal is vicious or dangerous.

The 5 member animal review board will include at least one representative of the veterinary profession and one representative of the Des Moines County Humane Society.

Gifford says this will take these decisions out of the hands of the city council and into the handles of individuals who can dedicate their full attention to these issues.

He says the idea came about after the city realized it did not have a good method in place for dealing with a dog that had allegedly bitten several people.

The meetings of the new Animal Review Board will be open to the public.

The West Burlington City Council has also updated the city’s definition of a vicious, domestic animal and the procedures for dealing with them.