Regular Council Meeting
February 15, 2021 – 6:00 P.M.
Community Media Center
Mayor Brian Wolken called the meeting to order. Council present: Dave Goedken, Scott Brighton, Candy Langerman, Chris Lux and Tom Yeoman. Also present were City Clerk Sally Hinrichsen, Public Works Director Nick Kahler, Water/Wastewater Superintendent Jim Tjaden, Police Chief Britt Smith, Library Director Michelle Turnis and Park & Rec Director Jacob Oswald. Council Brenda Hanken and City Engineer AJ Barry joined electronically. The public was invited to attend the meeting in person, with limited seating or to participate in the meeting electronically via “Zoom Meetings” and were encouraged to communicate from Zoom Meeting via chat, due to the heightened public health risks of the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19). The meeting did have public attendance, both in-person and via Zoom.
Yeoman moved to approve the agenda, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Goedken moved to approve the consent agenda, Brighton seconded, roll call unanimous.
PFM Financial Advisor Matt Stoffel gave a power point presentation on Sewer Plant Plan of Finance Discussion. Stoffel reviewed various options on how Council could finance the upgrades to the Sewer Treatment Plant. Options included using sewer revenue only and raising the sewer rates to cover the cost; or funding partially with sewer revenue and partially with TIF or debt service, which would keep sewer rates lower. Stoffel recommended setting sewer rates separately and not tied to the water rates, as they are currently. Stoffel will work with the City’s Bonding Attorney John Danos and city staff with the SRF loan and future funding of the sewer plant upgrades.
Mayor Wolken opened the public hearing to consider the Maximum Tax Dollars to be collected by the City from certain levies for the City’s proposed Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Budget. Hinrichsen stated this was not the total tax levy, however the total tax levy would remain the same as current year’s rate. Staff received no oral or written comments. Mayor closed the Public Hearing to consider the Maximum Tax Dollars to be collected by the City from certain levies for the City’s proposed Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Budget. Yeoman moved to approve Resolution #2021-22 approval of FY 2022 Maximum Property Tax Dollars. Langerman seconded. Roll call unanimous.
Wolken stated Bond Counsel John Danos meet with Matt Stoffel, Hinrichsen and himself to review the required legal proceedings necessary to enable the City to authorize the SRF Planning & Design loan for the sewer plant upgrades. Hinrichsen reported the engagement letter with Dorsey and Whitney would be for the planning & design loan proceeding, at a cost of $4000. Lux moved to approve Resolution #2021-23 Approving engagement letter with Dorsey & Whitney LLP related to role as bond counsel for SRF Sanitary Sewer System Improvement financing. Yeoman seconded. Roll call unanimous.
City needs to hold a public hearing prior to entering SRF loan agreement. Yeoman moved to approve Resolution #2021-24 to fix a date for a public hearing on proposal to enter into a Sewer Revenue Loan and Disbursement Agreement and to borrow money thereunder in a principal amount not to exceed $595,000. Goedken seconded, roll call unanimous. Public Hearing will be held on March 1, 2021 at 6:00 PM.
Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2021-25 Approving Steven and Darcy Kraus Tax Abatement Application related to Residential Improvements constructed at 503 Locust Court, Monticello, Iowa. Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Yeoman moved to approve Resolution #2021-26 Scheduling Public Hearing on the City of Monticello 2021/2022 Fiscal Year budget for March 15, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. Brighton seconded, roll call unanimous.
Oswald advised the Parks Department has been utilizing the Toolcat this winter to remove snow from downtown sidewalks, a variety of other city-maintained sidewalks and 1-mile of trail. Oswald reviewed the quote received for the 66” snow blower for $4,632.94 and a 72” blade for $1,797.40 for a total of $6,430.36. City could get $1,750 to trade-in the old snow blower. Yeoman moved to approve Resolution #2021-27 Approving Purchase of SB200 – 66” Snowblower and 72” Snow Blade for City Toolcat from Bobcat of Cedar Rapids. Langerman seconded. Roll call vote, Yeoman, Langerman, Brighton and Lux voted aye and Goedken and Hanken voted nay. Motion carried.
Library Director reported the Library Board recommended to increase the number of Board members allowed to live outside the City limits to two (2) and to remove the requirement that the Board of Supervisors need to approve the members living outside the City limits and all members would be appointed by the Mayor with Council approval. Langerman introduced and moved to approve Ordinance #739 amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Monticello, Iowa, by amending provisions pertaining to “Library Board of Trustees”, first reading in title only. Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
Engineer Barry reported the USDA and the State approved the Engineer’s PER report related to the 6th street ditch on January 11th.
Tjaden reviewed the “Evaluation of Returned Product from the City of Monticello, IA” from AY McDonald. Tjaden contacted AY McDonald after a number of leaks occurred on copper tubing on the North Sycamore Street project and they agreed to evaluate the tubing, nuts and gaskets used on the project. AY McDonald findings showed both the 1” and 2” copper tubes were found to be undersized and out-of-round at the location where the gasket seals on the copper tubing. Barry advised these findings were given to Horsfield for review and are waiting for their response. Wolken reported Iowa Concrete Paving Association presented to the City of Monticello an “Award of Excellence” for outstanding design and construction of the North Sycamore Street Reconstruction project as “Iowa’s “Best” Municipal Street/Intersection PCC Paving Project of (<15,000 SY) for 2020”.
Tjaden received quotes for the 7th Street sewer main and service line hookups from Cedar Street to Sycamore Street. First quote is from Eastern Iowa Excavating for $27,300 to completely replace main and connect service lines hookups. The other quote provides for Visu-Line to line the main except the last 40 feet of main and to have Eastern Iowa Excavating completing the last 40 feet of main and the service lines, would cost $26,700.
Tjaden reported the sewer permit renewal is requiring more testing to be completed and to expect to see a $10,000 increase in the Hygienic Labs invoices for the additional testing required.
Kahler reported they are using man-sand, which is manufactured sand like Jones County has been using for years. This sand is more course and cheaper than the sand they were using. Goedken stated it stays on the roadways better and City will need to get the street sweeper out earlier to clean the street so all the sand does not go into the storm sewers.
Oswald inquired how the Council wanted to proceed with the mask mandates, being the State Governor lifted the mask mandate. Consensus of the Council was to post notices that “masks are recommended ……use your own judgement”. Kim Brooks stated the Library is still recommending masks. Brighton stated the school has mandated masks at school events.
Smith reported his annual report was in the agenda packet. Smith also reported that he did not receive the grants for the radio upgrades that he was hoping for. Police Department received COVID funds to offset part of their wages and he would like to take part of his budget that was offset and transfer that to the equipment set-a-side for police equipment.
Smith reported that 5 of the townships were contacted related to the ambulance service support. Smith also advised that the Ambulance Service received a grant of $3,000 to purchase a stair chair.
Hinrichsen reported that the Onslow Fire Department is disbanding and Monticello Fire Department was asked by the Scotch Grove Trustees to take part of their district. Hinrichsen is working Fire Chief Joe Bayne and Jones County to determine the new area to be covered.
Jones County Economic Development Director Derek Lumsden reported the City was awarded the Catalyst Grant for the Compadres building.
Lumsden stated addresses were selected for the CDBG LMI Survey. They selected 500 addresses from the list that was submitted for the City to contact and are looking for volunteers to go door to door or to call to complete the survey. He is hoping to complete the survey by late April to early May to allow ECICOG to apply for the grant to help cover cost of the sewer facility upgrades.
Lumsden reported working on the Childcare Survey and looking to start that survey around March 1, 2021.
Brighton moved to adjourn at 8:26 P.M.
Brian Wolken, Mayor
Sally Hinrichsen, City Clerk