The Huxley City Council said goodbye to two councilmen and hello to two new ones last Tuesday evening, the last official meeting of 2017.
Rick Peterson and Greg Mulder were sworn in by City Clerk Jolene Lettow. The two newest members to the council will begin their service on Jan. 1. Two returning members (Dave Kuhn and Mayor Craig Henry) were also re-sworn in as they begin their new terms on Jan. 1 after being re-elected in November. Mulder is a civil engineer and has lived in Huxley for 12 years. He hopes to influence the commercial and industrial expansion of Huxley. Peterson is a 15-year resident of Huxley and hopes to bring a different viewpoint to the council as a self-employed individual. His two biggest concerns for the community are taxes and responsible growth.
In other council news:
•Two members of Holmes Murphy Insurance and Financial Services presented options to the group regarding group health insurance. According to the presenters, rates represented “the worst renewal cycle we’ve ever seen in the industry.” In general, group insurance rates are rising 20 percent or greater, but the option presented by Holmes Murphy to join a trust of other cities already in a network offered an option of no increase over current rates. The council accepted the recommendation. Huxley is the smallest city in Iowa in the trust; Council Bluffs is the largest.
•The final plat for the Iron Bridge development was approved, 4-1
•The proposed outdoor ice rink, to be located on the basketball courts of the Nord/Kalsem Park, was approved. The free attraction will be available for public use sometime in the next few weeks. It will be a non-supervised, non-staffed attraction.
•Councilman Jensen recommended the council take a hard look at the land inherited in the industrial park area in 2018 and develop plans to best use and promote that area for city growth.
At the conclusion of the meeting, council members and Mayor Henry recognized the service of its two outgoing members: Kevin Deaton and Craig Hemmen. Deaton encouraged the council to continue to be frugal with the budget, but to also realize that it takes money to run a city and there are certain areas, such as Parks and Rec, that haven’t been funded properly in the past. Hemmen said it was a privilege to serve on the council and was thanked by councilwoman Tracey Roberts for being a “calming influence” on the group. Deaton and Hemmen were each presented with a plaque of appreciation in honor of their service to the Huxley community.
The Huxley council re-adjourns after the holidays with its first meeting of 2018 scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 6 p.m., in the Council Chambers.