Regular Council Meeting
October 18 2021 – 6:00 P.M.
Community Media Center
Mayor Brian Wolken called the meeting to order. Council present were: Dave Goedken, Brenda Hanken, Candy Langerman, Chris Lux, Scott Brighton and Tom Yeoman. Also present were City Administrator Russell Farnum, City Clerk Sally Hinrichsen, Library Director Michelle Turnis, Water/ Wastewater Superintendent Jim Tjaden, Public Works Director Nick Kahler, Police Chief Britt Smith, Park & Rec Director Jacob Oswald and City Engineer AJ Barry. 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.
Hanken moved to remove the minutes from the consent agenda and vote on separately, Brighton seconded, roll call unanimous.
Hanken questioned if items from prior agendas could be summarized and updated for Council. Langerman moved to approve minutes, Brighton seconded, roll call unanimous.
Yeoman moved to approve the consent agenda, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Farnum reported City, with Council direction, recently purchased the house located at 449 North Sycamore Street. By State Code City can request that the County abate taxes owing on the property. Langerman moved to approve Resolution #2021-112 To request Abatement of accrued Property Taxes on property owned by the City of Monticello for public purposes within the city limits of the City of Monticello. Brighton seconded, roll call unanimous.
Farnum stated the Cemetery Board recommends increasing the filing fee to $10.00 to match the increase set by the State legislators. Lux moved to approve Resolution #2021-113 To Approve Cemetery fees effective January 1, 2022, Goedken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Lux moved to approve Resolution #2021-114 Designating City Depositories, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Farnum reported Airport Board sent the Request for Qualifications to four firms and advertised in the Monticello Express and only one responded. HDR has done an excellent job for many years and the Airport Board recommended the selection of HDR. Yeoman moved to approve Resolution #2021-115 to approve appointment of the HDR/Snyder & Associates/Braun Intertec team as Monticello Airport Engineer, for Airfield Development Projects and Airport Planning and Environmental Services. Hanken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Hinrichsen reported Jones County Public Health Coordinator Jess Wiedenhoff gave a presentation on the vision and mission of Jones County Health and has formed a Health Group to work towards their goals as part of the Community Health Needs Assessment and Health Improvement Plan. Oswald desires to join the work group for the city. Lux moved to approve Resolution #2021-116 to approve the Memorandum of Understanding between Jones County Public Health & Stakeholder members of the “Jones County Public Health Work Group” and City of Monticello for Participation in the Jones County Public Health Work Group. Brighton seconded, roll call unanimous.
Farnum stated beings one party backed out of the Sale of Real Estate located at 103 West First Street at the last meeting, staff needs direction on how Council wants to proceed. Staff recommends option 1 as Matt Kumley has agreed to accept the same terms of the Creative Concepts proposal. If Council accepts Kumley’s proposal to accept the terms of Creative Concepts proposal, hearing would be held on November 1st Council meeting. Hanken moved to approve Resolution #2021-117 Scheduling a public hearing for November 1, 2021 at 6:00 PM to receive input on proposal for 103 West First Street related to restoring /making improvements. Goedken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Farnum and Barry reviewed the East 7th Street project with an estimated cost of $260,000, which includes IDOT reimbursable expenses. City needs to let bids now so work can be completed prior to the IDOT overlay and sidewalk project, scheduled for early 2022. Tjaden stated this project will include replacing or lining 7 manholes. Langerman moved to approve Resolution #2021-118 Scheduling Public Hearing on proposed plans, specifications, form of contract and estimate of cost for the East 7th Street Utility Improvements, approving the Form of Notice, and the taking of bids therefor. Hanken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Farnum reviewed the proposed vehicle leasing program and pricing for F150 and F250 trucks. The F250 has a lower up-front cost and a potentially higher resale at the end of the term. Wayne Peach, 108 Monk Court suggested do some comparison shopping, and check references. Dave Schoon, 17151 County Road D62 questioned if someone leases vehicles closer to Monticello. Farnum stated Waterloo uses this for their squad cars and Mason City is happy with the program for their vehicles. After a lengthy discussion, Hanken moved to table action on vehicle leasing, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Discussion was held on the potential flood hazard mitigation grant application for 202 North Main. Goedken stated City should consider flood protection for the building by building a berm. The property owner needs to contact City that they desire to apply for the flood buy-out program. FEMA recommended doing the flood buy-out for both the garages and building, and they look at repetitive flood losses to make their decision. Hanken voiced concerns of two functioning businesses and rental families to have to move. Yeoman stated while working on the CDBG survey last week, he found apartments that were vacant. Tara Mescher, business owner located at 202 North Main, Suite A questioned the true value of the property and was advised that FEMA requires an appraisal to be completed by a certified appraiser. The amounts listed on the grant are only estimated figures. Mescher stated the down slope behind the building could protect the building. Laura Westemeyer, 4696 Oak Crest Hill Road, Iowa City, stated she drives to Monticello for Mescher’s care and likes small town businesses. Mescher asked the Council to put it in writing that they would cover all moving expenses and see to relocation of the same size. It was noted that FEMA provides funding for relocating expenses. Bud Coyle, 515 North Sycamore, questioned where the funds for the buy-out were coming from? If Council approved to move forward with the grant and get the appraisal for the building, City could decide not to proceed, if higher than the estimate. Wolken stated the new owner of the old hospital is looking to make rental spaces available. Marcey Muller, businessowner located at 202 North Main, stated her space is a perfect fit, with off street parking for clients. She has rented this space for 35 years and questioned why the building would be torn down, noting the property and sales taxes that would be lost. After much discussion, Langerman moved to approve Resolution #2021-119 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program, seconded by Goedken. Roll call vote: Ayes: Langerman and Yeoman. Nays: Goedken, Hanken, Brighton and Lux. Motion failed.
Yeoman moved Resolution 2021-120 authorizing Russell Farnum City Administrator to sign all documents related to the Mitigation Project providing funding to assist with the Flood Plain Buyout 202 N Main. Goedken seconded. Roll call was all nays, and motion failed.
Farnum prepared a summary of the Building Committee’s report on the Community Center and improvements necessary and re-arranged into the Council’s priority after the last meeting. He also reported that staff removed piano and radiator already. Goedken moved to authorize City Administrator to work on getting quotes for the various items and to continue to move forward, Brighton seconded. Roll call unanimous.
Kahler received a report that the guardrail on the South Main bridge was damaged. It appears someone hit the railing and busted off several posts. He got a quote for Lovewell Fencing, Inc, from Davenport in the amount of $6,527.50 to repair the guardrail. Yeoman moved to accept the quote form Lovewell Fencing, Inc, from Davenport in the amount of $6,527.50 to repair the guardrail, Langerman seconded. Roll call unanimous.
Barry received the IDOT project plans for the roadway project and sidewalk project thru town today. He has not had time to review them yet and he gave Kahler a set of set of the plans to review.
Barry reported working on plans to correct the drainage issues, where it was setup for a roadway and will now be a private drive, as property was purchased. Kahler talked to the new owner about narrowing down the driveway entrance, putting in driveway and curb & gutter.
Wolken thanked Council members for taking the time this past weekend to collect surveys for the CDBG Grant for the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Wolken reported he was contacted by a developer who is interested in the lot near the football field for a multi-family residence. Hinrichsen will look into grant requirements for that lot.
Farnum reported the City purchased the dilapidated house at 449 North Sycamore Street. Staff received a quote to demolish the house from McElmeel Construction for $6,960.00 and will sell the lot once demolition is completed. Yeoman moved to accept the quote from McElmeel Construction for $6,960.00 to demolish the house at 449 North Sycamore Street. Hanken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Farnum stated the City USDA Loan for the Sixth Street ditch was approved in the amount of $749,000.
Hanken inquired on several issues that were brought to the Council and would like updates on a more regular basis, for example the Sixth Street ditch and Royal Flush issues.
Oswald reported that Pat Callahan with Callahan Enterprises, LLC is interested in hosting a flea market, like they have successfully held in Maquoketa for several years. They would like to have exclusive rights to conduct a “flea market, antique & collectibles” show at the Jones County Fairgrounds, provided that they continue to reserve and pay for this privilege in advance. Oswald stated the Park Board and himself had no issues with this. They are looking to host 1 to 4 events each year. Callahan stated they did a survey of their vendors and many were interested in coming to Monticello. Goedken moved to give Callahan Enterprises, LLC the exclusive rights to the term “Flea Market” at the Jones County Fairground, as long as they have an event is booked in advance. Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
Hinrichsen reviewed the redistricting process for the City once the State approved their redistricting map. She prepared a proposed map of the new district for the council to consider. No action can be taken until the State approves their maps, then City has 60 days to complete the process.
Tjaden reported the air makeup unit still has not been delivered. They hired McDermott Custom Pumping to land apply their sludge from the Treatment Plant.
Smith stated he emailed the Council the August and September updates and also a report on the ambulance overtime.
Turnis reported the library, in partnership with ITS and Culligan Total Water will be doing the Monster Mile starting at 4:30 PM on Thursday October 21st, just before the downtown business startes the Treat on the Streets.
Turnis reported IowaWorks is coming back in person to the library starting the first Thursday in November.
Turnis reported the proposed change of Library Board makeup will be on the November 2nd ballot, asking public to approve allowing two board members to be from outside Monticello.
Brian Wolken, Mayor
Sally Hinrichsen, City Clerk