Regular Council Meeting
May 3, 2021 – 6:00 P.M.
Community Media Center
Mayor Brian Wolken called the meeting to order. Council present: Dave Goedken, Brenda Hanken, Scott Brighton, Candy Langerman, Chris Lux and Tom Yeoman. Also present were City Administrator Russell Farnum, City Clerk Sally Hinrichsen, Police Chief Britt Smith, Public Works Director Nick Kahler, Water/ Wastewater Superintendent Jim Tjaden, Park & Rec Director Jacob Oswald, Library Director Michelle Turnis. 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.
Bud Coyle, 516 N Sycamore voiced his concerns on the dirt that was used as fill on his property by Horsfield Construction.
Langerman moved to approve the consent agenda and Brighton seconded. Roll call unanimous.
Mayor read a proclamation declaring May 2nd – 8th, 2021 as National Small Business Week. Chamber Director Jan Hoag applauded City for supporting local businesses.
Chamber Director Jan Hoag updated Council on the Uptown Summer Nites in the Pocket Park. They will be held on June 17th, July 15th and August 19th from 5 PM to 8 PM. The Park Board agreed to waive the rental fee for the Park with Council approval. Wolken stated it will be on the next agenda for the Council to take action on the fees.
Farnum reviewed the preliminary development agreement for McMATT Properties which provides for rebates over a 10-year period on a declining scale. The next two resolutions will set public hearings for June 21, 2021 at 6:00 PM to finally approve the development agreement and adding project to the TIF plan. Council discussed the rebates not to exceed amount. Mike McDonough, 501 Park Drive, advised they would like to see the not to exceed amount to be higher to ensure they get the 10-years of rebates. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2021-52 Preliminarily approving proposed Development Agreement between the City of Monticello and McMATT Properties and scheduling a Public Hearing on the proposed agreement, with a not to exceed amount of $75,000.00. Brighton seconded. Roll call unanimous.
Langerman moved to approve Resolution #2021-53 Preliminarily approving Proposed Amendments to Monticello Urban Renewal Plan to include McMATT Properties Project, and to schedule a Public Hearing on the proposed Urban Renewal Plan amendment for the 21st day of June 2021 at 6:00 p.m. Yeoman seconded. Roll call unanimous.
Farnum reviewed the airport grant with 80% State funding/ 20% City match for an $80,000 apron extension necessary to allow a private party to build a new 100-foot square private hangar on land lease from the Airport. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2021-54 Approving Submission of the Iowa DOT Airport State Funding Application for Monticello Regional Airport. Lux seconded. Roll call unanimous.
Tjaden advised that water wells get inspected every 5 to 10 years. The last time the north well inspected was in 2014. The North Well is our highest production well and there is a slight water leak in the pump, so it would be a good time to service the well. Langerman moved to approve Resolution #2021-55 Authorizing Cahoy Group to Pull, Inspect & to Perform a Downhole TV Survey of North Well, Goedken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Tjaden advised the water and sewer department was looking to purchase the cemetery 2016 Hustler mower for $4,000. The trade in value of the 2012 John Deere mower is $3,400 and they could purchase a new Toro mower for $8,300 less trade-in, making the purchase price be $4,900. Tjaden felt it made sense to trade in the John Deere mower and purchase a new mower for $900 more than they are paying for the cemetery mower. Council suggested looking into having someone mow the new water tower area. Yeoman moved to table action on the purchase of a Toro mower and to look into bidding the mowing. Hanken seconded. Roll call unanimous.
Farnum stated his formal review will be in 6 months and Council could consider his pay increase at that time. Langerman moved to approve Resolution #2021-56 Approving wages for non-bargaining staff for FY ’22, Brighton seconded, roll call unanimous. This approved a 2.5% increase.
Kahler reviewed the sealcoating packages he received from L.L. Pelling using rock chips compared to pea gravel. He divided the sealcoat streets into groups and intends to rotate the groups so they are sealcoated every 5 to 6 years. Council discussed East First Street section and how to proceed, because the demolition and construction of the grocery store, sewer plant improvements and housing development, there will be a lot of heavy traffic on that section of the street. Farnum requested permission to chip seal the street for now and it could be re-built after the construction is completed. Langerman moved to approve Resolution #2021-57 Approving contracting with L.L. Pelling to complete various Sealcoating projects. Lux seconded. Roll call unanimous.
Oswald advised a COVID-19 Relief Recreational Trails Program grant is available and he would like to apply for funding. The grant requires a minimum request of $500,000. The trail committee is working with City Engineer to get cost estimates for the trail. Oswald stated to make the grant be competitive, he would need a match of about 1/3 of the project. They are looking to request between $500,000 to $600,000 with City match of $250,000 to $300,000 for a total of $750,000 to $900,000. Grant deadline is prior to the next council meeting and it requires Council approval of grant submission and match. If grant is awarded, City has until September 30, 2023 to complete the project. They are looking into options of extending trail from Baty Disc Golf trail toward Riverside Gardens and Fairgrounds. Chamber Director Jan Hoag reviewed grant and would like to see trailhead facilities included in the project. She stated the trail would promote economic development and people are moving to towns because of quality of life the towns have to offer. Trail committee member Keith Stamp stated a trail system is a great asset to a community. Katie Farrowe felt expansion of the trail could bring more cyclists to town. Langerman moved to approve Resolution #2021-58 Approving Submission of the COVID-19 Relief Recreation Trails Program Application for Monticello Parks & Recreation Department, Lux seconded, roll call unanimous. This was for a not to exceed amount of $300,000.
Farnum reported the property owner at 721 N. Sycamore applied for a variance for a proposed patio in the front yard, which encroached the setback area. He attended the Board of Adjustments and only three members were present and vote was 2 to 1, which failed to meet the three affirmative votes needed to approve. Farnum reported the City Code addresses “porches and decks” but not patios, in the front yard. Farnum proposed changes to code that could address this issue. Jeff McCormick, 721 N. Sycamore advised he is trying to upgrade his property, and the patio would extend 9’ from his house and 9’ from the back of the sidewalk. Wolken felt if they want to allow McCormick to build the patio then others in town should also be allowed to build them in the older areas of town. Hanken made the motion to allow Jeff McCormick to build a patio, died due to a lack of a second. Goedken moved to direct City Administrator to amend language to allow a patio, similar to a porch and limit on greenspace setback of 9’, Brighton seconded, roll call unanimous.
Farnum updated Council on the status of the Employee Handbook and his intention to discuss proposed changes with City Attorney prior to bringing it back to the Council for approval.
Farnum reported Governor Reynolds is holding two virtual Town Hall meetings on child care from 6 PM to 8 PM. The May 6th meeting will be for parents with children in child care. The June 1st meeting will be for child care providers.
Farnum stated at the last meeting, a resident asked the Council to consider limiting the use of fireworks. Consensus of Council was to continue to follow the State Code on fireworks.
Farnum stated Goedken had asked for a work session on Council procedures, which he feels would be good to do after the fall election. Brighton stated he would like work sessions that are educational and possibly background on items on the next agenda. Kim Brooks stated the School Board holds work sessions that she attends and it shortens the length of their meetings.
Kahler reported emailing State DOT engineer on the recommendations of Council following the last Council meeting and he advised whatever the City decides is fine. He will work on getting a survey together for the businesses.
Goedken questioned the status of the Monticello sign along Hwy 151. Smith advised he was waiting for some local contractors to submit a quote to remove the sign.
Turnis reported they are looking into permanent storyboard signs. Several signs were removed and damaged recently.
Turnis reported the Library Board is working on a 15th year celebration on the new facility which will be held in June.
Tjaden reported on several leaks or manhole issues that will need to be addressed. The water leak is located at Buckeye and S. Chestnut and they will need to turn off water at the school to make the repairs. They are trying to line up the job to be done on a Wednesday when school is out early. The other issues are the brick manhole on Walnut and Chestnut and a sewer line on Elm Street, near 3rd Street.
Smith reported the Officers will be wearing patches with yellow to promote childhood cancer.
Smith reported Zach Buehler and his canine Rogue attended certification and passed. Council asked if they could come to a Council meeting to be introduced.
Smith updated Council on some nuisances and requested direction on the nuisance on S. Cedar regarding the removal of rock that was extended in the front of the house. Goedken made the motion to direct Police Chief to give the property owner of the S. Cedar Street nuisance a reminder, with a two-week extension. Brighton seconded. Roll call unanimous.
Brighton moved to adjourn at 8:24 P.M.
Brian Wolken, Mayor
Sally Hinrichsen, City Clerk