Spohnheimer speaks to Noon Lions

The Marshalltown Noon Lions Club met in regular session at the American Legion on Monday. Roger Hackman introduced his two grandchildren as guests.

In the absence of the President Schossow, Allan Thoreson, Vice President, opened the meeting. Secretary John Winters reminded the club of a barbecue offered by the State Center Lions Club. The trusty trio of Doris Langenbau, Ken Niehouse and Leonard Stubbs led the music. The invocation was given by Greg Ellcy. Vice President Thoreson then introduced Michelle Spohnheimer, Housing and Community Development Director.

Spohnheimer has been the Director of the Housing and Community Development Department for the past 10 years. From her office, just inside the entrance to the old library building and with a staff of 11 members, she provides a number of services that relate to housing. The jurisdiction covers Marshall, Tama and Hardin counties administering a program that provides rent assistance to low-income families. Due to funding cuts from HUD there is a 6-12 month wait for this assistance. Preference is given to the elderly, disabled, and families. About 40 applications for assistance are received each month with 25 to 30 percent of these following through and receiving help.

Spohnheimer spoke at length about the lead hazard control program. Homes that were built before 1975 are of concern since paint used in that period contained lead. When lead gets into the human system it is not rejected but continues to build up in concentration. The first level of lead is often found in the very young by doctors in routine investigations. Children are of particular concern for ingesting lead from pane scaling, and chipping. The City now has a Lead Hazard Control Grant which can be used by rental or owner units. Assistance to remove lead from the dwellings has a maximum amount of $23,500 per unit with the average cost of $12,500. Rental property owners are required to provide a 10 percent matching contribution.

The city has two Rental housing inspectors who conduct the municipal housing inspections within the city of Marshalltown. They also work in the surrounding counties. This Department is also responsible for issuance of building permits and review of construction plans for compliance with the utility codes. The city is also administering a Home security deposit grant, Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant and a locally funded property maintenance assistance program.

Anyone wishing more information on the Noon Lions and their mission is urged to contact Carol Winters at 641-752-5460 for information.