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Wilton officials want residents to know the city is not behind the increased property valuations that went to every Wilton property owner.

"That's nothing to do with the city," Mayor Bob Barrett said during Monday night's council meeting. "We were as surprised as anyone."

Barrett added Wilton homeowners can expect a visit from an assessor. "I understand they want to go into every house in Wilton," he said. "Again, that has nothing to do with the city."

After the meeting, City Administrator Chris Ball explained the county was obligated to set the higher valuations because of state guidelines. Typical increases are around 5 percent, but some have been significantly higher. Individual property owners have the right to contest their increases.

Storefront progress

The facelift of Wilton's historic Candy Kitchen is nearly complete. Ball reported the exterior renovation is almost finished, and work started on the Star Drug building as part of the downtown facade improvement project. "They got started and then stalled because of weather," said Ball.

The council approved Payment Application No. 6 of $31,309 to the project contractor, Cornerstone Commercial Contractors of Corning, Iowa. "Did we get 31 thousand out of them?" Barrett asked. "Oh yeah," Ball replied.

Funding procedures approved

The funding paths are clear for wastewater treatment improvements and for a street extension. The council approved resolutions establishing the means to pay for the two projects.

"This is to pay for our sewer plant," Ball said of the Sewer Revenue Loan and Disbursement Agreement, which authorizes borrowing up to $6,211,000. Ball added bids have come in at just under $5.9 million.

The extension of West Fourth Street from Maple Street to the easterly Garrison property limits is necessary for a new branch of DeWitt Bank and will also open other properties for development. The council approved an amendment to the Urban Renewal Plan that will provide an estimated $350,000 in tax increment revenue.

RAGBRAI route approved

Thousands of bicyclists will get a good look at downtown Wilton when RAGBRAI rolls through town on the tour's final day, July 28. The council approved the route through Wilton, which will bring cyclists into town on Third Street, north one block on Cedar Street, east two blocks on Fourth Street, south on Chestnut Street, and east again on Third Street.

"I went to a RAGBRAI meeting last Saturday," Ball told the council. "They thought this route looked pretty good."

The plan also designates parking on several adjacent streets for buses only to accommodate the support vehicles that accompany the annual week long bicycle tour across Iowa. Ball plans to be one of those cyclists, except on the last day when he will be on the job in Wilton. He said local businesses have already contributed about $2,000 to welcome the cyclists. "It looks like the city is going to be sponsoring a community tent," he said.

"I think it's a great way to show off our town," Barrett commented.

Wilton was last a pass through community for RAGBRAI in 2015. "We got a lot of compliments last time," Ball said. "I think we have more community involvement this time, too."

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