Small Town News

Disaster and Accident

City receives initial estimate of damage

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Councilors also approve resolutions on depository banks, newspaper

Hull city councilors learned the initial estimate from Alex N. Sill Adjustment Company for losses associated with the fire that gutted city hall.

That's what happened during the Hull city council gathering on Monday, Jan. 9, at Hull Public Library.

Sill is representing the city in potential claims versus insurance company EMC, which was locally brokered by Iowa State Bank Insurance.

Sill is a loss consultant who also represented Sioux Center when a fire destroyed its previous library.

So, what's the amount? $537,000. And that's for the building only-not taking contents into consideration.

Hull city administrator Les Van Roekel said the city has put together an eight page document with a partial list of contents.

"We're going to go through our contents again," Van Roekel explained.

ServiceMaster of Milford has cleaned office supplies, air filters and more. The amount of money spent on cleaning was more than $11,000.

Van Roekel said the city is considering using an architect to help with plans for a new or possibly refurbished hall.

Sioux City-based architect Todd Moss met with Van Roekel to discuss working together again. Moss worked with the city on the Hull Public Library project seven years ago.

If the city chooses to hire an architect, additional fees could be charged. Hull could also hire other local engineering and architecture firms.

Any new facility will need to follow proper International Building Codes., If a second story is built, it must be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

"We're not just replacing a structure, but also trying to have a place for the next 30 years," said city councilor Eric D. Rankin.

Mayor pro tern Roger Buys, who administered the meeting in place of Roger Vis, said he hopes the city will receive EMC's estimate by the next council meeting.

The next meeting is slated to take place on Monday, Jan. 23, at 5 p.m.

The city needs to accelerate the process for putting together actual numbers so they can do bid-letting for future expected construction projects. Van Roekel would like to begin receiving bids by some time in March.

Councilors also debated whether to look at sites other than Maple Street for city hall.


City councilors learned that contractors have walked through a pair of homes-at 1121 Elm Street and 1022 Walnut Street-for possible improvements from housing rehabilitation grant money the city has received.

Five different contractors, none with local ties, appeared at the walk-through.

Two factors have helped determine the bid awards, the age of the actual applicant and whether there are children 12 years old or younger living in the dwelling. Income information was verified.

The contractors have special licenses entrusting them to do the required work. Homes will be brought up to International Building Codes standards.

Six units in the city will be refurbished. The maximum award per unit is $24,999.

The city will provide $18,000 in matching funds from its low and moderate-income account.

"I think it's money well spent," councilor Joel Leusink said. "It's a good area to spend our money."

All units will be remodeled by fall 2012. The city also approved improvements to eight homes roughly six years ago.

An update was provided on the new pool under construction in Westside Park. A portion of the concrete floor didn't test strong and may need to be poured again. More samples will be taken, according to Van Roekel.

A temporary construction hut has been built. Additional work has taken place on the bathhouse.

Fund-raising efforts are ongoing. Seventy-five percent of pledges to the Capital Campaign Cabinet have been collected thus far. Estimates are that about $675,000 has been raised, although the official website still reads $661,888, and has for more than a month.

The city of Hull Parks and Recreation Department is looking at purchasing a used elliptical trainer for the fitness center located in the Community Memorial Building.

The Hull Fire Department Trustee Meeting is set for Thursday, Jan. 26 at the Public Safety Complex.

Councilors Ethan Vaas and Buys began putting together a list of streets for improvements.

The pair met after the regular council meeting on Jan. 9.

Councilors approved American State Bank and Iowa State Bank as the two depository banks for the city. They also okayed using De Koster Law Office for another year, paying an $8,000 retainer fee.

* Craig Verhoef of Custom Woodworking was approved for a 24x32-foot addition at his place of business along Main Street. The addition will give Verhoef additional shop space.

* The Sioux County Index-Reporter has been named the official newspaper once again. Readers can find city legal notices in our newspaper.

Original Publication Date: January 18, 2012

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