Regular Council Meeting – Official
September 16, 2019 – 6:00 P.M.
Community Media Center
Mayor Brian Wolken called the meeting to order. Council present: Candy Langerman, Chris Lux, Brenda Hanken. Council member Tom Yeoman joined the meeting electronically. Also present were City Administrator Doug Herman, City Clerk Sally Hinrichsen, Public Works Director Nick Kahler and Police Chief Britt Smith. Council member Dave Goedken arrived later in the meeting.
Yeoman moved to approve the agenda, adding resolution authorizing submission of USDA grant application for a new ambulance unit. Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Mayor Wolken read Proclamation #19-01 Proclaiming the week of September 8 -14 as Assisted Living Week in Monticello, Iowa.
During Open Forum, Gary Feldman, 713 West First Street, expressed his opinion that commercial businesses should be able to utilize the City Compost/Yard Waste site. He explained that he operates a landscaping business.
Lux moved to approve the consent agenda, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman explained the penalties proposed by the Iowa ABD to be assessed against Northside Bar owner Debbie Wells. Smith reported he was unsure how or if Debbi Wells replied to the Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) hearing notice. Smith stated ABD would not support a licensure denial based upon the July 2019 incident. Langerman moved to approve Northside Liquor license, Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman explained that the Board of Adjustment reviewed and approved the Findings of Fact and Ruling Denying Variance related to the requests of Jake Schilling and Randy Steiner to construct a Shed /house (Shouse) on property without street frontage and without a paved private drive as required by the City Code. Langerman moved to accept the findings of the Board of Adjustment and to receive and file the Board of Adjustment’s Findings of Fact and Ruling Denying Variance for both Jake Schilling and Randy Steiner, Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman presented the Plat of Survey to Parcel 2019-62 located on 175th Avenue within the two-mile jurisdiction and reported that the Planning & Zoning Board recommended that the Plat of Survey be approved. Lux moved to approve Resolution #19-129 Approving Plat of Survey to Parcel 2019-62, located in the two-mile jurisdiction of the City of Monticello, seconded by Langerman, roll call unanimous.
Herman reviewed the MercyCare Clinic Site Plan and explained that the Planning and Zoning Board recommended its’ approval. Yeoman moved to approve Resolution #19-130 Approving MercyCare Site Plan, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman explained that the County Treasurer sent a property tax statement on what is now a City street within Willow Ridge 4th Addition. Langerman moved to approve Resolution #19-131 to request Abatement of accrued and future Property Taxes on City owned property utilized for public purposes within the City limits of the City of Monticello, Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman reviewed the changes in the Public Works Department over the last few years. Herman reviewed the job description for the Public Works Director and recommended that the annual salary for the position be $52,500, to be effective with the payroll including September 16, 2019. Herman explained that the benefits committee agreed to the recommended salary. Lux moved to approve Resolution #19-132 to approve Public Works Director Job Description and Salary, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous. Council member Dave Goedken arrived.
Herman reported meeting with Structural Engineer Craig German and Sheldon Hunter, property owner of 115 East 1st Street. Hunter proposes to install additional support to the front of the building which will result in smaller window openings. German advised Herman that the support poles were not unreasonable but were in his opinion probably not necessary. If the Council is opposed to the reduction in window size, the Council may direct Herman to so advise Hunter who will likely object. Herman stated that the Council may authorize the Permit with other conditions if deemed appropriate. Langerman moved to Resolution #19-133 to approve Building Permit application submitted by Sheldon Hunter related to building located at 115 East First Street, which is located in the Fire Zone, with the understanding that he would not use vinyl or steel products around the new windows, Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman reported that the 2008 Ambulance was purchased with a significant USDA grant and some City funding. He reported that there may be USDA funds available from last fiscal year and that he is working on an application to seek those funds. Lux moved to authorize City Administrator to prepare and submit the USDA grant to purchase an ambulance unit and for the Mayor to sign necessary documents, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman provided financial data related to the last 5 years of ambulance operation, explaining that expenses always exceed revenues. Herman explained that expenses are largely fixed and that the revenues are tied to call volume and reimbursement rates, both being largely outside the control of the service. Monticello Emergency Medical Team (MEMT) President and Ambulance volunteer Ben Hein addressed the Council as did volunteer Drew Haag and Paramedic Lori Lynch. They all expressed their opinion that the City needed to purchase a new ambulance and also suggested that an Ambulance Board may help improve their operations.
Herman informed the Council that he invited Norm Zimmerman to attend tonight’s meeting but that Norm was unable to attend. Herman also indicated that Calvin Zimmerman responded on Norm’s behalf, explaining their plans to being construction soon, having had delays related to their attempts to obtain an easement from an adjacent property owner.
Herman spoke to the Council in regard to Compost Site related matters. He explained that perimeter trees would be planted in the spring and that an Ordinance needed to be drafted to set out the rules and regulations related to the use of the site. Some issues that need discussion include commercial business use of the site, hours of operation, and enforcement of violators. An entry sign has been erected as required by the DNR and signage to be located inside the fence is being finished to point users where to deposit their yard waste and larger logs. Cameras and lights are operating.
Steve Hanken, 823 South Main, questioned what the Council was going to do with Norm Zimmerman as he has not commenced construction at 224 N. Chestnut Street as agreed.
Herman reported he heard Anamosa was looking into building codes and an inspection process. He has reached out the Anamosa City Administrator but has not yet heard back. Herman reported that the Planning and Zoning Board has requested that he include the discussion of the adoption of a building code on their next agenda.
Kahler reported that some final grading and clean-up would be performed at the compost site as weather permits. Council agreed to open the compost site twenty-four hours per day on Tuesday morning and to gauge how things go before deciding whether or not the site should be open twenty-four seven or closed before and after certain hours of the day.
Kahler reported that most marked sidewalks have been repaired and others are being worked with to get the work completed this fall.
Kahler reported that the white garbage truck was paid for and picked up by Elliott Equipment. Kahler reported that the PW Dpt. needs a pickup for snow plowing and suggested that a new pickup with dump trailer would allow them to use the truck for snow removal and yard waste collection. In that case the red garbage truck could be sold with the proceeds being used to cover the truck and trailer purchase price. Consensus of the Council was to seek bids on the red truck and move forward with the purchase of a pickup and trailer.
Kahler reported on N. Sycamore Street progress.
Langerman move to adjourn at 7:42 P.M.
Brian Wolken, Mayor
Sally Hinrichsen, City Clerk