Regular Council Meeting
June 1, 2020 – 6:00 P.M.
Community Media Center
Mayor Brian Wolken called the meeting to order. 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, Director of Park & Recreation Jacob Oswald and Park & Facilities Superintendent Shannon Poe. Library Director Michelle Turnis joined electronically. The public was invited to participate in the meeting, which was held electronically due to the heightened public health risks of the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19), 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, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Yeoman moved to approve the consent agenda, Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman reported Emerald Green Lawncare submitted an invoice for the seeding on North Sycamore Street for $6,450.00. A review of original bid disclosed a mathematical error on their part, total of various line items matched final invoice. Herman informed the owner of the grass growth deficiencies in four areas and inquired on their plans to repair the railing and steps located at 219 North Sycamore Street that was damaged when they backed into it. Lux stated they agreed to make repairs over two weeks ago. Wolken advised that the homeowners will need to water the new seeding and to spray the weeds with a specialized spray for new seeding, if they want. It is recommended to let the grass grow at least 8 to 10 inches before mowing and to cut it with a longer length, to help support the root system. Feldmann stated the taller they let the grass grow the deeper the roots will grow. Feldmann moved to approve Resolution #2020-67 To Approve payment in the amount of $5,000.00 to Emerald Green Lawncare related to North Sycamore Street Seeding project, and retaining the remainder of the $6,450.00 until the seeding issues and railing and steps at 219 North Sycamore Street are addressed. Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman updated Council on the known history of the sidewalk located between Mark Ketelsen and Kris Lyons’ properties that is on an easement from Walnut Street to Gill Street. Council approved installation of sidewalk on an “easement” between Walnut Street and Gill Street by Resolution #19-142 dated October 7, 2019. Ketelsen previously advised Herman that he would tear out, fill-in and seed if the City decides to do away with the sidewalk. City would need to hold a public hearing if they decide to abandon the easement. If City decides to keep sidewalk public, recommends doing a written easement. Nick and Anne Strittmatter addressed the Council regarding their desire to keep the sidewalk and it was their understanding the Cy Locher agreed to putting in the sidewalk in lieu for the extension of Third Street, so he could build his home, which is currently owned by Ketelsen. Nick Strittmatter stated this sidewalk is a unique feature that has been there for over 100 years, in the older section of town and feels it is used by many people. Anne Strittmatter voiced her concerns of safety issues if the sidewalk is removed. Lyons felt if the sidewalk was removed it would increase his home’s valuation but knows it is used by many kids in the neighborhood. He stated families that are attracted to the historic neighborhood, want the sidewalk. He asked Council to not rescind the vote and to replace the sidewalk. Ellen Strittmatter stated people who want to get from Gill Street to Walnut Street would have a long walk if the sidewalk was removed and felt the sidewalk should remain. Wolken stated the quote received in October 2019 was for $3,789.00 to replace the sidewalk. Goedken stated if they decided to keep the sidewalk, then the City should maintain it. It was suggested not all of the sidewalk needed to be replaced and Herman and Kahler will look into that. Goedken felt it the City was going to replace sidewalk, they should do the entire section. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2020-68 to Rescind Resolution #19-142 that approved replacement of Sidewalk between Gill Street and Walnut Street, Langerman seconded. Roll call vote being: Ayes: Goedken and Langerman. Nays: Feldmann, Lux and Yeoman. Abstain: Hanken. Motion failed.
Herman advised the engineer on the Berndes Center HVAC project reviewed and approved Crawford Company Pay Request #3 in the amount of $58,965.55. Yeoman moved to approve Resolution #2020-69 Approving pay Request #3 from Crawford Company related to Berndes Center HVAC Project, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman advised the Code Book is near completion and will set public hearing to begin the approval process at the next meeting.
Herman updated Council on Norm Zimmerman’s sewer project and that Zimmerman wants the sewer line to be a City main. Herman directed Zimmerman to put his proposal and costs together and Herman would present it to the Council.
Herman asked to put together a committee to discuss salary and compensation of City Staff, as the Police agreement is up for renewal. Committee of Langerman, Lux, Yeoman and Herman will meet on Thursday, June 4th at 3:30 PM.
Herman advised the contractor would be coming soon to work with the yard waste and composting materials at the yard waste site. Council stated residents need to be sure the loads are secured, so the load is not lost along the way to the yard waste site. Kahler stated it has been taking them all day on Thursday and a couple of hours on Friday to finish the yard waste pickup.
Kahler stated the North Sycamore Street painting specification call for 9-foot angle parking stalls. Several Council members suggested doing 10-foot stalls. Goedken moved to make the angle parking along McNeill’s Hardware 10-foot stalls and to let Sacred Heart Church decide if they would like 9-foot or 10-foot angle parking stalls, Yeoman seconded. Roll call vote: Ayes: Goedken, Yeoman, Feldmann, Langerman and Hanken. Nays: Lux. Carried.
Kahler reviewed the proposed plan to building a new storage building and sand shed at the Public Works building. The sand shed roof is leaking and the new trucks are too tall to dump inside the shed. Council directed Kahler to put together some options and costs for their review.
Kahler stated he had some older equipment which is no longer being used that he would like to take bids on to dispose of the equipment. Kahler was directed to seek bids and bring to Council for approval.
Oswald stated the Park Board has agreed to do clinic based programs instead for games this summer. Oswald inquired what rules the Travel Baseball teams would need to follow when they use the City ball diamonds. Goedken questioned why City would allow the travel teams to use the fields but not the town teams. Oswald stated the travel teams bring their own equipment. Oswald and Poe were directed to draft up the restrictions for the ball fields. Park staff will not be opening the concession stand for them to use. Oswald stated the playgrounds and shelters are now open to use.
Poe reported staff is working to get the pool ready to open and hoping to fill this week. Pools are allowed to be opened for lap swimming and lessons, with social distancing restriction until June 17th. Poe felt you could not safely do swimming lessons, with social distancing except the two higher levels. They may not open the concession stand this year, if they open the pool. They need to find hand sanitizer and wipes to clean areas used, prior to opening.
Herman stated plans are to open City Hall, as soon as the safety issues are in place, such as plexiglass and hand sanitizing stations.
Berndes Center is open to use, but they need to furnish their own equipment. They need to find hand sanitizer and wipes to clean areas used.
Turnis stated the Library Board will be discussing the phased opening of Library at their meeting this week. They are looking at doing curb side pickup and limiting the number of patrons in the library to look for books. The games and puzzles will not be checked out at this time. Library computers use will not be allowed, until they are able to get wipes to clean them after each use.
Feldmann moved to adjourn at 8:29 P.M.
Brian Wolken, Mayor
Sally Hinrichsen, City Clerk