Regular Council Meeting
September 8, 2020 – 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 and Park and Recreation Director Jacob Oswald. City Engineer Patrick Schwickerath joined electronically. 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.
Mayor and Council members thanked Gary Feldmann for his service as Council member. Langerman moved to approve the consent agenda, Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman advised that the Ford Ranger used by the Park Department is no longer needed, with the transfer of the Silverado from the Police Department to the Parks and would be advertising for sealed bids. Yeoman moved to approve the sale of the 2000 Ford Ranger pickup by sealed bid proposals to the high bidder, Lux seconded, roll call unanimous.
The Mayor opened the Public Information Meeting related to the 6th Street Waterway Grant Application to be submitted to the USDA, seeking grant and/or loan funds to help cover project costs. The project includes improvements to the 6th Street Ditch between North Chestnut Street and 6th Street. The USDA application seeks financial assistance related project in the amount of $543,000. Tina Ries, 123 West Grand, inquired if the grant was submitted. Herman advised that the grant was turned into the local USDA office and will be forwarded from there to the Federal offices after completion of the Public Information Meeting. Bud Coyle, 515 North Sycamore, stated that a large part of Monticello drains into this ditch. Herman disagreed, explaining that the Engineer had previously identified the watershed and less than a majority of the City emptied into the 6th Street Ditch. Dave Ries, 123 West Grand, stated there are a lot of trees growing in the ditch. Tina R. questioned if concrete was dumped into the ditch. Herman advised he previously owned property along the ditch and he tried to shore up the bank with some concrete as had other property owners over the years. Wolken agreed that others had done things to protect their banks. Jan Tackett, 532 North Cedar, questioned what landscaping the City would do with the ditch and questioned if they could remove the trees in the ditch. Hanken asked if property owners could remove the trees in the ditch and Wolken stated they can do anything in the ditch as long as it is up to DNR standards. Dave Ries who has rental property on North Sycamore questioned why he would be assessed. Goedken stated anyone within 300 feet could be assessed as their water drains to the ditch. Keith Tackett, 532 North Cedar, stated he felt the ditch was a safety issue from mosquitos and possibility of people stumbling and falling into the ditch during the Jones County Fair. Wolken stated we all agree the 6th Street ditch needs work done but need to decide how to pay for the improvements and this funding would help. After no further comment the public information meeting was closed.
Lux moved to approve Resolution #2020-92 Approving FY 2019-2020 Street Finance Report, Langerman seconded, roll call unanimous.
Yeoman moved to approve Resolution #2020-93 Approving Plat of Survey to parcel 2020-56, Goedken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Langerman moved to approve Resolution #2020-94 Approving Plat of Survey to parcel 2020-57, Goedken seconded, roll call unanimous.
Herman advised the Midwest Concrete bid was $78,945.55 for the Willow Park Highway 38 Trial Extension. Herman reviewed changes made during the project which increased the total cost to $80,750.11. Goedken moved to approve Resolution #2020-95 To approve payment to Midwest Concrete Inc. related to Willow Park Highway 38 Trail Extension, Hanken seconded, roll call unanimous.
The Council discussed potential increases to water and sewer rates. Herman advised the last water rate increase occurred on July 1, 2015. Council directed Herman to prepare a draft ordinance for consideration at the next Council meeting setting out both a 50 cent increase to the base rate and a percentage increase to the usage rates, wanting to look at both 3% and 5% options. With regard to sewer rates, the Council wants to consider revenues if the rate remains at 150% of water and if it is increased to 160% of water.
Council discussed the estimated annual cost of the Compost Site operation and whether or not the City should continue to collect yard waste. Goedken expressed his opinion that we should continue yard waste collection for one more year to see if there is a reduction in use with people getting more accustomed to using the compost site. Wayne Peach, 108 Monk Ct advised that he calculated the estimated cost of $2.00/month/residence to operate the yard waste site with a budget of $40,000.00. He felt the City should keep the compost site and the collection service. Herman was directed to draft a proposed ordinance with $2.00/ month charge.
Herman updated Council on the Hwy 38 sewer main extension as requested by Norm Zimmerman. The Engineer’s estimate is $40,000.00 not including service connections and other miscellaneous costs. Goedken stated the Council previously set a cost limit of $35,000.00. Wolken stated the Zimmerman agreed to pay $12,000.00 and the other two property owners agreed to pay $5,000.00 each towards the project. Council directed Herman to advise Norm Zimmerman that he is allowed to put in a 6 inch private service line at his cost. Council also advised Herman that any easements or other legal work would fall on Zimmerman, not the City.
Council reviewed various reconstruction options related to that portion of North Chestnut Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets. No decisions were made as to how best to proceed at this time.
Council discussed the Employee Social Security Tax deferral that was in President Trump’s memorandum dated August 8, 2020 and went into effect on September 1st. City is not required to allow employees to defer and any amount deferred needs to be paid back starting January 1, 2021. Council did not take formal action on this matter but consensus of Council was to not defer social security tax.
Council set September 14th at 5:30 PM for a Special Council Meeting to review list of streets prepared by Kahler for possible repairs.
Oswald advised that he applied for a Theisens grant to cover 50% of the costs of a broom and sand/salt spreader for the Toolcat. Oswald reported that there is a four to five week lead time on these items and if ordered now they would remain at REXCO until closer to winter, after word on the grant. Consensus of the Council was to proceed with the order as the equipment would be needed this winter, whether or not the grant is awarded.
Smith reported the Sidewalk Committee of Kris Lyons, Shannon Simonson, Denny Folken, Mayor Wolken and Smith met and will put together recommendations for the Council to review.
Herman reviewed the process to fill the vacancy of Ward I created by Gary Feldmann’s resignation. Council has 60 days from his resignation to appoint someone to fill the position or Clerk will advise County Auditor and a special election will be held. The earliest special election would be on December 8th. This will be on the next Council agenda for consideration.
Langerman moved to adjourn at 8:06 P.M.
Brian Wolken, Mayor
Sally Hinrichsen, City Clerk