SIBLEY, Iowa - The second hurdle to bring Capital Armament to Osceola County has been crossed.

The Sibley City Council, during its Monday evening meeting, approved a memorandum of understanding with Osceola County to assist the county in its offer of property to the Minnesota-based company. While the MOU is not legally binding to ensure the company will relocate, it is an important step for the possibility to move forward.

As part of the agreement, the city agreed to donate 10 acres of land for the relocation of Capital Armament. Should the company not move to Osceola County, the donated land would revert to the City of Sibley.

Additionally, the city has agreed to an exchange of 26 acres of property with the Osceola County Conservation Board. Sibley City Administrator Glenn Anderson said the land is currently managed by Pheasants Forever. Anderson noted that the area would be utilized in the county’s recreational trail, and that the area is not necessarily suited for agriculture or business interests and would better serve conservation’s usage. The council approved both the donation and exchange, and unanimously authorized Mayor Jerry Johnson to sign the MOU.

Water/sewer warranty program

The council heard discussion regarding insurance for water and sewer lines in Sibley. Last year, approximately 20 to 25 homeowners experienced frozen lines between the city street and their homes. While last year’s exceptionally cold weather and deep freeze lines are abnormal, the damage caused by such freezing can result in costly repairs to homeowners.

Council members were presented with two potential insurance companies that could offer optional insurance to residents for frozen lines. The monthly cost to residents is nominal and customizable to what the citizen needs. The insurance companies work with local contractors to make needed repairs on customer claims.

The council voted to look into working with Homeserve USA. Its action In no way mandates residents taking the optional insurance, but could potentially help facilitate contact between the company and homeowners by providing a list of names to Homeserve or allow the company to bill for insurance on utility bills.

Other business

The council agreed to hire former city clerk Kris Vipond to fill in temporarily to assist with finance and budget matters until the city’s new clerk begins work Dec. 15. Vipond will be paid a rate of $20 per hour.