Regular Council Meeting
April 20, 2020 – 6:00 P.M.
Community Media Center
Mayor Brian Wolken called the meeting to order, which was held electronically due to the heightened public health risks of the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19). Council present: Dave Goedken, Brenda Hanken, Gary Feldmann, Candy Langerman, Chris Lux and Tom Yeoman. Also present were City Administrator Doug Herman, City Clerk Sally Hinrichsen, Public Works Director Nick Kahler, Police Chief Britt Smith, City Engineer Patrick Schwickerath and Park & Rec Director Jacob Oswald, all attendees joined meeting electronically. The public was invited to participate in the meeting via “Zoom Meetings” and were encouraged to communicate during the meeting via chat. The meeting did have public attendance and some active participation.
Yeoman moved to approve the agenda, adding discussion on water meter regulations pertaining to a second meter and COVID-19 pandemic discussion. Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
Goedken moved to approve the consent agenda, Hanken seconded, roll call unanimous.
John Harms updated the Council on the financial struggles of Cobblestone Inn & Suites, which is primarily owned by local shareholders. They are looking into creative ways to increase revenue and are working with their lender. Harms requested that the Council consider amending the existing Development Agreement, rolling it back if you will, to increase current rebates and lengthen the term. Langerman voiced concern that this might set a precedent and others with development agreements would request similar relief. Consensus of Council was for Herman to put some additional information together and bring back to the Council for consideration.
Herman reported the City Engineer has considered various options to extend City sewer to Norm Zimmerman’s property located at 920 North Cedar Street. The option to extend sewer along North Cedar Street was ruled out, as there was not enough cover in the right of way and a private property owner objected to an easement. A second option to extend sewer from Madalyn Court was found feasible and easements by private property owners were agreed to, with one signed and the other two verbally agreed to with the condition that the property owners would not have to pay to connect to the sewer system. The engineer’s cost estimate to install the main is $70,000.00. Zimmerman stated he received a letter giving him 90 days to install a septic tank or connect to City sewer system. Herman advised that Zimmerman is not required to connect to the City sewer as there is not sewer line within 200 feet of his property. Council questioned how Schoon Addition was assessed when their sewer main was installed. Herman recalled that the Schoon Addition was assessed 50% of costs to install sewer main. Herman indicated that the Council could assess the installation project to the property owners if they wished to. The assessment could be involuntary or voluntarily negotiated. The assessment could be paid over ten years. Zimmerman stated he offered $500 for each property owner to hook up to City sewer main and White Hawk advised it would cost $8,000.00 to put a septic tank on his property. Council discussed assessing 50% of installation costs or up to $10,000.00 per property. Council requested further consideration of this matter on the next agenda.
Council reviewed the revised proposed 2020 Highway 38 Trail plan with a 10-foot trail from the Hwy 38 bridge to the current High School crossing at the estimated cost of $81,000, not including crossing beacons which will be purchased and installed separately. It would cost an estimated $7,000.00 to extend the 10’ trail from the High School crossing to the Cemetery exit roadway. Goedken asked about the use of re-bar and Schwickerath explained that re-bar was not included in the specifications. Consensus of the Council was that three runs of re-bar should be added to the trail plans. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2020-51 approving 10’ trail with three runs of re-bar from Highway 38 Bridge to the current High School crossing and authorizing pursuit of competitive quotations, Lux seconded. Goedken moved to amend the motion to include a bid alternative to extend the trail, at 10’ with rebar, from the High School crossing to the Cemetery exit roadway, Lux seconded. The amendment was unanimously approved. The Council then considered Resolution #2020-51 as amended, approving the trail project from the Highway 38 Bridge to the current High School crossing with three runs of re-bar, authorizing pursuit of competitive quotations, and also seeking a bid alternate to extend the trail from the High School crossing to the Cemetery exit roadway, Lux seconded, Roll call unanimous.
Herman reported the P & Z Board reviewed and recommended approval of the Plat of Survey to Parcels 2020-28 and 2020-29. The parcels are located within the Monticello City limits. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2020-52 Approving the Plat of Survey to Parcels 2020-28 and 2020-29, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman reported that the P & Z Board reviewed and recommended approval of the proposed site plan for the Chestnut Street Condominiums. Langerman moved to approve Resolution #2020-53 Approving Site Plan for Chestnut Street Condominiums, Lux seconded, roll call unanimous, except Yeoman who abstained.
Herman reported the Airport Board has been approached by two individuals who each want to construct a 100’ X 100’ hangar on airport grounds. The two hangars would be south of the Ten-T-Hangar and additional grading and concrete will be required for the project. The owners of the hangers would pay to lease the land and pay property taxes on the hangars. The estimated cost of the proposed grading and concrete project is $345,400. The Iowa DOT Airport State grant requires a 15% local cost share, which would be paid with Airport revenues. Herman advised that the Airport will be receiving a $30,000 Federal Grant that is tied to the Covid-19 pandemic that will free up $30,000 to then be used towards the local grant match. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2020-54 Approving Submission of the Iowa DOT Airport State Funding Application for the Monticello Regional Airport, Hanken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman explained that many more panels of the North Maple Street sidewalk were out of compliance with the City Code than reported at last meeting. Goedken stated he looked at the sidewalk along North Maple Street and according to the City Code any panel that is cracked in a way that creates 3 or more pieces requires replacement. He expressed the opinion that the entire section should be replaced, not just repaired as approved at the last meeting due to the increased quantity of panels requiring repair. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2020-55 Rescinding Resolution #2020-46 approving Maple Street sidewalk repair /replacement project, which approved the repair of the 4’ sidewalk and repairs to the fence, approved on April 6, 2020. Feldmann seconded, roll call unanimous.
Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2020-56 approving Maple Street sidewalk replacement project, with a 4’ sidewalk and repairs to the fence. Unless the Fair Board is willing to pay for the extra foot to make it a 5’ sidewalk, as long as the additional width does not impact the adjacent trees. If the 5’ sidewalk has any impact on the trees only a 4’ sidewalk will be installed. Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman and Jones County Economic Development, Executive Director Derek Lumsden are working on a federal grant related to sewer plant upgrades. Herman reported that the grant required confirmation that the City was proceeding with the project in a way that would allow for eventual State Revolving Loan eligibility. Yeoman moved to approve Resolution #2020-57 Directing the City Administrator to continue planning for the Sewer Plant upgrades consistent with the process required to retain eligibility for State of Iowa Revolving Loan Funds. Goedken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Kahler advised the first yard waste pickup went well and took a few hours the next day to complete.
Lux commented on the poor condition of the street near the intersection of Chestnut and 3rd Street. Kahler advised that the bricks were settling. Herman commented that the City hired Snyder & Associates to work on a Chestnut Street design and had held off as the City was moving forward with 7th Street. Herman will reach out to Snyder & Associates to get an updated design schedule.
Herman reported that MercyCare has started working on the new medical center site along Welter Drive.
Herman reported that the City was awarded $60,000.00 from the Derelict Building Grant and the Catalyst Grant was pending for 103 West First Street building. Herman indicated that a local developer has expressed interest in purchasing and finishing the buildings after structural repairs are complete.
Herman reviewed the current City Code related to installation of a second meter. Goedken would like to amend the City Code to allow a second meter to fill swimming pools. Herman was directed to put together proposed language.
Herman advised that City buildings are closed through May 1, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Herman questioned if Council would want to extend closure to match State recommendations if there were new recommendations between now and the next Council meeting. After some discussion, the Mayor proclaimed that he was directing the City to follow the guidelines, related to local restrictions and closings, recommended by the State and /or Governor moving forward.
Council discussed parking restrictions along East 3rd Street between North Main and North Maple. Herman will put together a draft ordinance for consideration.
Feldmann moved to adjourn at 8:02 P.M.
Brian Wolken, Mayor
Sally Hinrichsen, City Clerk