Tech-YOU-Topia leaders prepare to present at a Lamoni City Council meeting as soon as possible to provide details for all the members. 

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Lamoni, Iowa City Council’s Recent Meeting

Lamoni Chronical’s Report of
Recent Council Meeting

Chair of the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission, Bill Moraine, presented the 21-page “Lamoni 2020 Five-Year Comprehensive Plan” as developed by the members of the commission over the past year and approved at their January meeting.

“A comprehensive plan is an expression of what a community is and what it wants to become. It is not just the commitment of those who are responsible for carrying it out but everyone who is a part of the community in any way.”  It replaces the previous five-year plan and the commission is asking the council to adopt it by resolution. May foster pointed out how important it is for the city to have this plan, not only to guide the work of the City Council, MNY, Lamoni Development Corporation (LDC), and Decatur County Development Corporation (DCDEC). But to increase the chance of obtaining grant money for important projects that the city cannot afford to fund by itself.

Councilor Omstead, who was the city council liaison with P&Z for 2019, moved to amend the motion to adopt, by requiring the names of two specific business to be dropped from the plan. The plan as written recommended coordinating with Tech-You-Topia under Economic Development and researching possible benefits of working with Agile Fractal Grid under Utilities. Although their most recent focus has been with Agriculture and Graceland, which Councilor Omstead believes is a good project, he things it should not be in the plan itself.  Intense discussion ensued.  Chairperson Morain reported that the commission members discussed this at length and felt it was important to include them as they have the potential to contribute greatly to the development of Lamon I with no cost to the city.

What became clear in the discussion was that neither the mayor nor the council members know very much about the opportunities these two businesses offer to Lamoni. While Chairperson Morain wished there had been more conversations of the council and utilities with the business leaders, the council members felt they had been either not invited, or invited on too short notice, or the meetings took place when they were at work. Mayor Foster and Councilor Smith attended a dinner with them, but both feel they want more information, while at the same time wanting them to invest in Lamoni. Shannon Erb, Executive Director of DCDC, who was present in the chamber, said she would coordinate with the next visit of the business leaders to allow them to present at a city council meeting. She reports she has taken Superintendent Barney’s concerns to them, and that whatever is specific to Utilities should be within his comfort level. She is supportive of these business opportunities.

The council approved Councilor Omstead’s motion to remove the names from their location in the five-year plan, and then at the suggestion of Council member Jeanes, approved a second amendment to include the businesses in the Private Sector Innovations section of the report. With these amendments in place, the plan was adopted.