Adel City Council holds regular meeting, annexation hearing postponed

Clint Cole - Editor
The green-shaded area represents land the city has received voluntary annexation applications for while the orange-shaded area represents land in the annexation area that is not voluntary. Yellow represents the current city limits. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY THE CITY OF ADEL

The scheduled public hearing and possible vote on the southern annexation of about 1,000 acres into the City of Adel, originally scheduled for Tuesday night, was canceled due to notices of the public hearing not being sent to property owners in the area early enough. Despite the cancellation of the public hearing, the Adel City Council held its monthly meeting as regularly scheduled at the Adel Public Library Tuesday night.

The public hearing has now been set for Tuesday, July 11 at 6 p.m. in the A-D-M High School Auditorium.

Dan Manning, the attorney advising the City of Adel on the annexation issue, said that they were to have the notices sent out 14 business days before the public hearing. The 14-day period included Memorial Day, which after further review, was not allowed and caused them to postpone the public hearing.

“The query was whether that that met the standard or not and it was my opinion that it did,” Manning said. “Then, as I was preparing for the public hearing that was going to take place tonight, one of the things on my checklist to go through was, did we meet the necessary requirement and when I sat and counted the dates, I recognized something I had not noticed initially and that is that one of the dates was Memorial Day.”

Adel City Councilman Mike Haynes asked Manning if there was a specific reason they waited until May 23 to send the notices out. Manning said that it was in an effort to make sure they had everything was done right, which ended up not working out well for the council.

Councilwoman Rebecca Hillmer asked Manning if he was challenged on the rule by someone, or if the decision to check and advise the city to postpone the public hearing was made be Manning, and he said that he made the rule himself.

Manning said that the annexation issue requires a review by the Attorney General’s Office and the City Development Board, which is a State Board.

“It requires a review because, two things, you’re within two miles of the City of DeSoto, therefore this area is considered to be urbanized area,” Manning said. “Secondly, not everyone within this annexation area is volunteering to be annexed into the city.”

Councilman Bob Ockerman asked City Administrator Anthony Brown if he would have enough time to get the notices sent out to the property owners for a July 11 public hearing, and Brown said he believes he will.

They were also reminded that the Fourth of July holiday is between now and the scheduled public hearing.

The motion to set the public hearing for the July 11 date was passed 4-1, with Ockerman being the lone “no” vote. Ockerman has voiced opposition of the annexation right now and has even moved within the last year, along with Haynes, to end the tax abatement program before its set end date of 2025.

Second June Meeting coming up

The Adel City Council will have a second meeting in the month of June. It will be a joint meeting with the A-D-M School Board regarding the city growth and will take place on Tuesday, June 26 at 6 p.m. at the Adel Public Library.

There will not be any actions taken at the meeting, only discussion between the two groups.

“I’m looking forward to that and so is the school board,” Adel Mayor Jim Peters said. “Mr. (Greg) Dufoe had a school board meeting last night and the board was enthusiastic about meeting with us, and just talking about the future, and the future of the tax abatement.”

Fireworks law unchanged in Adel

Recently, a new law took effect in Iowa, allowing the use of fireworks through much of June into July. City Administrator Anthony Brown reminded the council and those in attendance at the meeting that the years-old ordinance in Adel is unchanged, and those wishing to use fireworks in the City of Adel still need to get prior approval from the City Council and must show proof of insurance.

Sales will still be allowed inside Adel city limits with the proper permit from the State of Iowa as long as they are sold out of a permanent building. Those wishing to sell out of “pop-up tents” will need to get a peddlers license from the City of Adel.