Regular Council Meeting
May 18, 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 and City Engineer A. J. Barry 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, Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
Langerman moved to approve the consent agenda, Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman reported the County and City are working on a new formula, which would calculate the amount due from each entity involved with the Communication Services agreement. When questioned why the 10% increase in fee, Smith advised the fee would have been over $50,000 using the County formula. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2020-63 Approving Agreement for Communication Services between Jones County, Jones County Sheriff, and City of Monticello, Hanken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman reported working with Jones County Economic Development, Executive Director Derek Lumsden and Jordan DeGree, Executive Director of Creative Adventure Lab, Inc., on the Rural Innovation Grant through the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The Grant is a maximum of $20,000, with a $10,000 match required. The grant requests funds to improve the façade, windows, and entryway at 101 E. 1st Street. According to the agreement with Creative Adventure Lab, the City will be reimbursed for any cost share. Langerman moved to approve Resolution #2020-64 Approving to support Application for Rural Innovation Grant in the amount of $20,000 for facade and entryway improvements at 101 E. 1st Street, Hanken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman contacted Norm Zimmerman, Lisa Winch and Sidney Schatz related to the proposed sanitary sewer main extension. The three impacted property owners agreed to the assessments Herman was directed to propose to them: Norm Zimmerman $9,000, and Lisa Winch and Sidney Schatz $5,000; each over a 10-year period at 0% interest. The Mayor and Zimmerman spoke after the last meeting and Zimmerman agreed to an increased assessment of $12,000. Zimmerman now proposes the installation of a 6” City owned main on the south side of the Systems Unlimited property instead of an 8”main on the north side as has been designed by the City Engineer. Barry advised that the DNR requires that the main be a minimum of 8” and would not be issued a permit for anything smaller. Consensus of the Council was to have Zimmerman come back to the Council with additional information related to installation design and cost, which would be privately owned; and to not spend additional sums on the City Engineer fees. City Council seems to now support a privately owned system between the three properties on N. Cedar and the City main on Madalyn Court while Zimmerman proposes a City owned connection. Lux moved to table action on resolution to approve plan to move forward with Highway 38 Sanitary Sewer Main, Goedken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Mayor reported receiving two quotes for Hwy 38 Trail Project and the low bidder was under the engineer’s estimate. Herman advised the beacons were not including the quotes and would be purchased and installed at City expense. When questioned, Barry estimated staking expense to be between $1000 and $2000. Herman stated the City will tear out the existing sidewalk. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2020-65 authorizing the hiring of Midwest Concrete, Inc to complete the Highway 38 Trail Project, Lux seconded, roll call unanimous. The total bid amount including the alternate bid was $78,945.55.
Lux moved to approve Resolution #2020-66 Approving Russell & Nicole Yonkovic Tax Abatement Application related to Residential improvements constructed at 703 N Birch St., Monticello, Iowa, Goedken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Oswald and Poe reported in regard to CDC guidelines related to aquatic center operations. Feldmann expressed that he was not in favor of closing the pool but did not have an issue with delaying the opening at this time. Herman indicated that the Park Board recommended that the Aquatic Center be closed at this time with steps to arrange for swimming lessons. Herman also noted that the Park Board was hopeful that changes in the circumstances could allow the pool to open. Council agreed it would not open on the normal schedule and Oswald stated it would take at least two weeks to get aquatic center ready to open. Feldmann moved to accept the Park Board’s recommendation to close the aquatic center except for swimming lessons, and Council will reconsideration opening under changes in circumstances and Governor’s recommendations, Hanken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman advised that Iowa Codification is working on the final draft of the City Code update.
Herman referenced a letter received from Nick Strittmatter related to the sidewalk from Gill Street to Walnut Street. Mark Ketelsen advised Herman that he believed the City was given an easement in 1917 to install and maintain a sidewalk on his property. Herman agreed to put the question whether or not to abandon the easement on the next agenda with more information from Ketelsen.
Smith reported that the Police Department completed the re-inspection of the sidewalks in Ward 1 and that 31 of the 54 properties notified of deficiencies last year had been repaired. The Ward 2 inspection resulted in sixteen letters being sent to property owners directing repairs to be made.
Council discussed the possibility of reopening City facilities. Council discussed appointment-only re-opening for City Hall. Council voiced concerns on library staff receiving full pay despite the Library being closed and encouraged Turnis to consider opening with curb-side pickup. Turnis stated the employees have been working from home and putting in time at the Library to plan an alternative to Summer Reading. Library Director Turnis and Library Board President Kim Brooks indicated that the Board would meet tomorrow to discuss a phased in opening of the Library. Consensus of Council was to extend the closing of City facilities through June 1st, with exception that City Hall will be open by appointment-only, and more discussion at the next Council meeting.
Feldmann moved to adjourn at 8:15 P.M.
Brian Wolken, Mayor
Sally Hinrichsen, City Clerk