Regular Council Meeting – Official
May 20, 2019 – 6:00 P.M.
Community Media Center
Mayor Brian Wolken called the meeting to order. Council present: Dave Goedken, Brenda Hanken, 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 AJ Barry, Water/Wastewater Superintendent Jim Tjaden, and Park Director Jacob Oswald. Council member Rob Paulson was absent
Yeoman moved to approve the agenda, with removal of National Small Business Week proclamation and payment to Anderson Ladd, Inc. related to Berndes Center floor replacement, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Yeoman moved to approve the consent agenda, Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman reported that the City has used Monk Construction since prior to 2010 to mow most City property. Herman explained that Park and Recreation Director Jacob Oswald indicated that the Park’s Dpt. could mow some of the parks as opposed to contracting that work. Oswald explained that there would be some benefits, beyond not paying a contractor, to have staff mow including the observation of the conditions of the parks, observing trees that may need to be trimmed, filling in holes, and mulching trees for example. Oswald suggested the funds saved on staff doing the mowing could be spent towards additional trails projects and updated/new playground equipment. Goedken questioned if they could mow cheaper than contracting? Oswald stated unless actually mowing, it would be hard to determine costs. Goedken expressed his opinion that the City got out of mowing and should stay out of mowing, that the Cost to the City to mow would exceed the cost of a contractor mowing. Yeoman indicated that he could see some advantages of Park staff mowing but would like to see cost figures or savings. Lux moved to table the purchase of a mower for the Cemetery, Streets and Park & Rec departments to allow time to get cost figures together, Yeoman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman reported that Riverside Apartments on 5th Street requested permission to replace their aging sign with a new sign utilizing the same wooden posts, which is not consistent with the City Code that requires a monument sign. Herman reported to the Council that many others had been required to comply with the sign ordinance. Consensus of the Council was to require compliance, noting that there was a lot of time and work put into the sign ordinance. Yeoman moved to approve Resolution #19-74 to Approve Signage Request received from Riverside Apartments on 5th Street, seconded by Goedken, roll call was all nays and motion failed.
Herman reported receiving a request from Monticello Nursing and Rehabilitation to have chickens consistent with the City Code. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #19-75 to Approve request of Monticello Nursing and Rehabilitation to have urban chickens, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman reported Jim Tjaden, Superintendent of Sewer and Water Departments, has requested a wage increase to more accurately reflect his training, experience and value to the City. Tjaden is currently a Grade 3 Wastewater Operator and a Grade 2 Water Operator, both being a requirement for his position. Herman indicated that there is a definite scarcity in the area of certified sewer operators and that Tjaden would oversee the Water and Wastewater department and supervise two employees. The position would become a salaried position and not covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Herman proposed a $2,000 increase to Tjaden’s wages to $58,000 effective July 1, 2019, with two more $2,000 increases on July 1, 2020, and 2021, respectively. Herman explained that Tjaden agreed to these wages. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #19-76 to approve wage increase for Jim Tjaden, Superintendent of Sewer and Water Departments, Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
Barry updated the Council on the N. Sycamore Street Reconstruction Project. He reported two pendng change orders on the project; one for an underground stairwell near the Strittmatter building and another related to a fuel tank found under the street near the Theisens Garden Center that required tank pumping, removal, and soil testing. He reported that the water main passed testing requirements. The sewer main and water and sewer service lines are also being installed. Stu Gerdes, 650 N Sycamore St, questioned whether the contractor’s work was being inspected. Barry stated it was being inspected by Snyder but noted that the inspector was not there at all times. Gerdes also questioned why sidewalks were being moved back a foot or more. Barry explained that about 2/3 of the project area sidewalks were about 6 inches from the right of way and the other 1/3 were at different distances but were all being moved to 6 inches off the right of way. Barry explained that in some cases changes are tied to ADA regulations, drainage and driveway approaches. Gaylen Kray, 634 N Sycamore St, indicated that one resident’s sidewalk was being moved 18 inches closer to the house and one on the West side of the street was moving 12 inches closer to the street based upon his observations. Herman reported that Alliant agreed to move the 4th Street streetlight back but will still shine on the intersection, so no changes are required.
Barry reported that all is complete with regard to the East First Bridge project but final paperwork.
Herman reported looking into grants to extend the Willow Park Trail along Hwy. 38 to the new Middle School.
Herman stated he will contact Norm Zimmerman in regard to the potential North Cedar Street sewer extension as he had originally agreed to pay costs to hook up the three homes affected by the project. The Council generally agreed, in the past, to installing the sewer so long as all three homes immediately connected.
Herman stated that the engineer is working on proposed improvement options for North Chestnut Street from 2nd Street to 3rd Street
Herman reported that Brandon Faust submitted a building permit application to construct a home in the Willow Ridge 4th Addition, however the application is on hold until a drainage and grading plan is approved which is in the works.
Herman stated Orbis easement has been prepared and he will get Orbis to sign
Herman reported working on a pre-treatment agreement with the proposed Truck wash.
Herman stated the Board of Supervisors approved the first reading to rezone the compost site and the 2nd reading will be tomorrow. He needs to review the abstract. He received quotes for a chain link fence but is also looking into woven wire fencing. He hopes that the site will be open in July. Goedken expressed a desire to have surveillance cameras in place before opening. Herman explained that cameras will require electricity and that he was looking into lighting options. Herman will get a draft ordinance to the Council to review with regard to the operation of the Compost Site.
Herman sent letters to the property owners on 7th Street, between Cedar and Maple, who would be impacted by additional street work and Kahler sent letters to the property owners in the Schoon Addition explaining the planned sealcoating work.
Herman explained that he met with representatives of three local HVAC contractors and a vendor that drew up a design for the Berndes Center HVAC project. Contractors were required to attend the meeting if planning to bid on the project.
Herman stated several people are working to complete the Main Street Iowa grant.
Herman reported that Mike First contacted him about building a new house on property owned by him and his wife near the airport. The purchase of their and adjacent properties is in the Airport Five (5) year plan to accommodate a runway extension and runway protection zones. Herman contacted Airport Planner Jerry Searle who contacted the FAA to determine whether they would participate in the buyout of this property now, prior to the construction of a new home. The FAA agreed that it made sense to move forward now with the FAA covering 90 percent of the project costs. The owner may decide whether or not to proceed at this time.
Herman reported that the City had been working with a Cedar Rapids Law Firm over the last few years on a small number of legal matters as opposed to working with designated City Attorney Anne Loomis who had moved from the area. Herman expressed no problems with Loomis at all just a desire to work with a new firm with a number of attorneys specializing in a number of areas. Herman provided information to the Council and they will give this matter additional consideration at an upcoming meeting. No action was taken
Lux moved to adjourn at 7:45 P.M. They took a short recess and then reconvened in a work session to discuss the proposed 6th Street Ditch Project. No action was taken.
Brian Wolken, Mayor
Sally Hinrichsen, City Clerk