Regular Council Meeting
April 6, 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 Engineers Patrick Schwickerath and A.J. Barry, Library Director Michelle Turnis and Park & Rec Director Jacob Oswald, all attendees joined meeting electronically. The meeting was broadcast live on the Monticello Local Access Channel through Mediacom and the public was invited to participate in the meeting via “Zoom Meetings” and were encouraged to communicate during the meeting via chat, in lieu of the public being allowed in the meeting room due to Covid-19 related concerns.
Langerman moved to approve the agenda, moving item #7 related to the trail plans to follow items related to 2020 E. 7th Street. Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
Mayor Wolken read proclamation declaring April 2020 to be Sexual Assault Awareness month in Monticello, Iowa.
Goedken moved to approve the consent agenda, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Council discussed the possibility to rescind prior action of City Council on March 23rd, rejecting all bids and requesting new bids, eliminating option 3 from consideration, on the 2020 E. 7th Street Reconstruction Project. After a lengthy discussion, Yeoman made a motion to rescind prior action of City Council on March 23rd, rejecting all bids and requesting new bids, eliminating option 3 from consideration, on the 2020 E. 7th Street Reconstruction Project. Motion failed due to a lack of a second. No action was taken to accept bids and awarding contract on the 2020 E. 7th Street Reconstruction Project being prior motion failed.
Council reviewed the proposed 2020 Highway 38 Trail plans with the estimated cost of $143,000. Barry stated the beacon crossing lights are not included in the plans at this time. Smith reported that the IDOT will not do a traffic study until after the project is completed. Herman advised the sidewalk would extend to the entrance driveway of the Cemetery. Goedken questioned if there were any grants available for this project. Herman reported staff could look into grants for the project but trail would not be competitive for a trails grant and the project would have to wait until next year to be completed. Herman felt the school was expecting the sidewalk/ trail to be completed prior to school starting in the fall. Schwickerath stated although the IDOT is not requiring beacons, at this time, the beacons would improve the safety issues. Smith stated after the IDOT traffic study was completed they may require beacons lights to be installed. Barry reported the plans call for the speed to be reduced to 35 MPH 300’ prior to the 1st crosswalk. Schwickerath stated the beacon lights could be added as an addendum and estimated the cost to be around $10,000 to $15,000 range. Langerman suggested tabling until the cost estimates for the beacon lights were received. Wolken stated the engineers would need to change the plans. Schwickerath advised City needed to proceed if they wanted to complete project prior to school starting in fall. Goedken suggest to push back the project to get the information on beacons and to hold off on the project. Langerman stated either way, they will need to do the sidewalk. Lux stated if we don’t do anything, then there is no safety for the kids. Schwickerath will look into funding opportunities. Smith stated the school could use crossing guards or school resource officer to direct traffic but also felt the beacons are needed. If IDOT does traffic study and does not lower the speed limit to school zone, they would need both the speed beacons and the crosswalk beacons. Hanken moved to table approving 2020 Highway 38 Trail plans and specs and letting bids. Goedken seconded. Roll call: Ayes: Hanken, Goedken and Feldmann. Nays: Langerman, Lux and Yeoman. Mayor declined to break the tie, so motion failed due to a lack of a second. Langerman moved to approve Resolution #2020-43 Preliminarily approving the 2020 Highway 38 Trail Plans and Specifications, authorization of publication of same seeking bids therefor and scheduling a Public Hearing on the Plans and Specs., Form of Contract and estimated total cost for the trail project for May 4, 2020 at 6:00 pm. Lux seconded. Roll call: Ayes: Langerman, Lux and Yeoman. Nays: Hanken, Goedken and Feldmann. Motion failed.
Schwickerath reported there were 10 locations along North Sycamore Street Project with a ¼ inch separation and one location with a ½ inch separation. He suggested the wet weather may have played a factor in the separations. He felt the ¼ inch separation could be ground or leveled out, but the ½ inch would need to be leveled or replaced. Council discussed waiting for the ground to dry out before grinding. Lux reported her sidewalk was cracked. Schwickerath stated if damaged during the winter from something hitting it, then it would not be the contractor’s fault.
Herman advised the City has never used a collection agency to collect delinquent City Ambulance accounts and recommended to take this step in an effort to collect more revenue. The Collection Agency has been around for 60 years, is an Iowa company and has other ambulance service clients. They are only paid if they collect and the rate of 28% on claims under 90 days when placed with them, 35% on claims over 90 days when placed with them, 50% on claims collected after litigation and 15% on claims the City collects through the Iowa Offset. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2020-44 to approve Agreement for Collection Services between the City of Monticello and Credit Bureau Services of Iowa, Feldmann seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman reported engineer on the Berndes Center HVAC project reviewed and recommended payment to Crawford Company in the amount of $47,129.50. Langerman moved to approve Resolution #2020-45 Approving Pay Request #1 from Crawford Company related to Berndes Center HVAC Project, Goedken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman reviewed options for the sidewalk along North Maple Street between the Golf Club entrance and fair gate entrance, including fence repair/removal, patching sidewalk (308 sf), Sidewalk replacement (1,880 sf) with either 4’ or 6’ wide sidewalk and fence replacement. Herman and Oswald felt a 5’ sidewalk could be installed without removing the fence. Herman advised with a 5’ sidewalk, they could leave fence and keep the trees, but would have to do something with the manhole. Wolken stated he talked with Fair Manager John Harms who advised they are looking at redoing the fair entrance in their long range plans. Herman advised this sidewalk would stop short of that area. Goedken questioned if the repairs covers the areas he discussed with Herman. Herman advised that the repairs did cover those areas. Goedken stated there are sidewalks on both sides of the street, and wondered if the wider sidewalk was needed. Kahler stated Public Works could remove sidewalk. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2020-46 approving Maple Street sidewalk repair /replacement project, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous. This approved the repair of the 4’ sidewalk and repairs to the fence.
Herman reported Water/Wastewater Superintendent Jim Tjaden requested to purchase a wing/mower /brushhog. Kahler reported the one they have now is only 7’ and is in bad shape. The new one would be 12’ and would still work with the tractor. It would be mainly used by the Water/Wastewater department however Public Works and Parks departments would also use it. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2020-47 Approving purchase of Wing Mower /Brush Hog for Water /Sewer Department and Public Works Department, Feldmann seconded, roll call unanimous.
Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2020-48 Scheduling Public Hearing on City of Monticello 2019-2020 Fiscal Year budget amendments for May 4, 2020 at 6:00 p.m., seconded by Langerman, roll call unanimous.
Herman sent out the information of the Plats to the members of the P & Z Board and they had no objection to present plats to Council for review without their formal review. The plats are located within the two mile jurisdiction. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2020-49 Approving Plat of Survey to Parcels 2020-41 and 2020-42, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman reviewed the proposed resolution to extend the closure of City facilities and extend closures to Park equipment through Friday May 1st. Wolken stated equipment is closed however the greenspaces are open. Oswald stated his understanding was if you are not sharing the piece of equipment it was ok to be open, so he planned to leave the Disc Golf baskets open. Langerman moved to approve Resolution #2020-50 Modifying previously issued Covid-19 City Office Closures Resolution and other Covid-19 responses, Goedken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Smith sent the Mayor his summary for East 3rd Street parking concerns. Council asked for summary to be sent to them and placed on next agenda.
Kahler stated they are working on projects to stay apart due to the Covid-19.
Oswald reported they moved the aquatic center registrations to May due to the Covid-19.
Herman reported the Northridge Retainage is overgrown and has trees growing in it. He reached out to adjacent property owners to get an easement, with one opposing. Goedken stated City needs to get easements, as the trees are cottonwoods and they will get huge.
Oswald was contacted to cancel a wedding in June and inquired if he should give a full refund or withhold deposit. Consensus of Council was to give a full refund.
Herman planned to set out gloves donated by Theisens and City garbage bags and put an ad in this week’s Express for Community Garbage Collection.
Herman reported the Airport Board received a request from two private individuals who want to build a hangar. They will need to extend the taxiway to the hangar. Airport Board is applying for a State DOT grant which would fund 80% for the approach / taxiway.
Herman reviewed the COVID-19 poster from the US Department of Labor and letter to Norm Zimmerman related to the sewer disposal system for his property located at 920 N. Cedar Street from Jones County Environmental Services.
Mayor Wolken adjourn at 8:05 P.M.
Brian Wolken, Mayor
Sally Hinrichsen, City Clerk