Ackley City Council | Regular Meeting

November 9, 2017

ACKLEY CITY COUNCIL met in regular session, November 8, 2017, in the City Hall Council Chambers with Mayor Erik Graham presiding.  The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.  Council members present:  Dale Brass, Robert Harms, Sue Ibeling, Al Jones, and Joe Wessels.  Absent:  None.  Quorum present.

 

Ibeling moved, Jones seconded, to approve the November 8, 2017 Agenda as listed.  Ayes-All.  Motion carried.

 

Jones moved, Ibeling seconded, to approve the Consent Agenda by one motion:  a) October 11, 2017 Regular Mtg Minutes as written b) Bills approval authorizing payment of bills and transfers as listed.  Harms questioned the bill for the fire department pagers stating that as chairman of the Public Safety Committee, he knew nothing about this purchase.  Mayor Graham stated that he would like the committee members to approve purchase orders for items related to their committees, and to review a copy of the respective department budget at that time.  c) Place Reports on file:  October 2017 Clerk Bank Reconciliation/Treasurer Report; October 2017 Clerk Budget Reports; October 2017 Deputy Clerk Utility Billing Reconciliation; October 2017 Ambulance Monthly Report.  Ayes-Brass, Ibeling, Jones and Wessels.  Nays-Harms.  Motion carried.

 

Brass moved, Wessels seconded, to open the public hearing at 7:04 p.m. on the first reading of proposed Ordinance No. 500 Amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Ackley, Iowa by Amending Section 135.10 Further Defining Maintenance of Parking or Terrace and 135.11 to Further Define Responsibility for Failure to Maintain Parking or Terrace.  Ayes-All.  Motion carried.  No oral or written comments or objections were received.  Brass moved, Harms seconded, to close the public hearing at 7:05 p.m.  Ayes-All.  Motion carried.

 

Harms moved, Ibeling seconded, to approve the first reading of proposed Ordinance No. 500 Amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Ackley, Iowa by Amending Section 135.10 Further Defining Maintenance of Parking or Terrace and 135.11 to Further Define Responsibility for Failure to Maintain Parking or Terrace.  Roll call vote:  Ayes-All.  Motion carried.

 

Brass moved, Harms seconded, to waive the second and third readings of said proposed Ordinance No. 500.  Roll call vote:  Ayes-All.  Motion carried.

 

Ibeling moved, Brass seconded, to adopt proposed Ordinance No. 500 Amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Ackley, Iowa by Amending Section 135.10 Further Defining Maintenance of Parking or Terrace and 135.11 to Further Define Responsibility for Failure to Maintain Parking or Terrace.  Roll call vote:  Ayes-All.  Motion carried.  This ordinance addresses what property owners are and are not allowed to place in the right of way between the street and the sidewalk and states that the City is not responsible for any damage to improper improvements placed in the right of way.

 

Ibeling moved, Harms seconded, to adopt Resolution No. 17-62 To Fix a Date for a Public Hearing on a Proposal to Enter into a Sewer Revenue Loan and Disbursement Agreement and to Borrow Money Thereunder in a Principal Amount not to Exceed $155,000.  Roll call vote:  Ayes-All.  Motion carried.

 

Council held a discussion regarding the sewer rates for the sanitary sewer improvement project.  Members felt that perhaps a town hall meeting should be held to provide residents with information on the sewer improvement project and the sewer rate increase.  Lee Gallentine, CGA, will review the EPA order and the new discharge permit with the Council at the special meeting to be held later in November, with further discussion of the town hall meeting at that time as well. 

 

Harms moved, Wessels seconded, to approve the liquor license for Triple T Specialty Meats, Inc.  Ayes-All.  Motion carried.

 

Lee Gallentine, CGA, gave an update on some current projects.  The sidewalk project at the library is moving forward.  The concrete is down.  Gallentine suggested to Retha Starek, Library Co-director, to speak with the FFA about doing the landscaping.  On the South Butler Street Project, the guardrail has now been completely removed from the project without any impact to the federal funding.    

 

Dustin Ingram, Economic Development Director, informed the Council that he hopes to complete the Annual Urban Renewal Report next week, and that it will need Council approval at a special meeting this month so that he can have it submitted by the December 1st deadline.  Ingram stated that he has meet with some of the Council to review the Strategic Plan, and that he hopes to meet with the remaining members before the end of the year.

 

Discussion was held regarding real estate known as 702 State Street, Ackley, Iowa.  Mayor Graham stated that he had received four bids to tear down the house, however, there was also a citizen that may be interested in buying the property now.  Chief Brian Shimon explained that the City would need to open bids up again for a minimum of two days, and follow the same procedures as before for a public hearing.  Ibeling moved, Jones seconded, to start the bid process tomorrow to sell the property, and to accept Scallon’s Lawn Care’s low bid of $5,450 to tear down the house if the property is not sold.  Ayes-All.  Motion carried.

 

Wessels informed the Council that he had received two quotes for the asbestos removal at the elevator.  One from Site Services, Inc. for $2,856 and the other from Bergo Environmental for $3,500.  Wessels said he has requested a bid from another business, but has not received one.  Wessels explained that once the asbestos is removed, a date just needs to be set to burn it down.  It has been recommended that the City have ten to twelve fire departments to assist and that the burn take place around 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday.  It was also suggested that the City feed the firemen since they will all be volunteers.  Wessels suggested the City ask the American Legion if they would open and feed the volunteers there, and the City would pay the Legion.  The City will be performing the clean-up once the elevator is burned.  Ibeling moved, Wessels seconded, to accept the Sites Services, Inc. bid of $2,856 for asbestos removal.  Ayes-All.  Motion carried.

 

Discussion was held regarding real estate known as 626 Main Street, Ackley, Iowa.  In May a structural engineer was hired by the property owner to inspect the building.  The engineer suggested minimum repairs and stated that the building appears to be unstable.  No repairs have been completed at this time.  Mayor Graham informed the Council that the City can order the minimum repairs be completed and if they are not, the City can have the repairs done and assess the cost to the property owner.  Clerk Kelly DeBerg referred to the Code of Ordinances which states that the City can give the property owner ninety days or less if the Council chooses.  The Council agreed that thirty days was an appropriate amount of time and that a notice should be sent.

 

Mayor Graham informed the Council that he had received information that if the City offered $20,000 for the Hardin County Shed located at 9th and Worth, it would be accepted.  Last November the City offered $15,000 and it was not accepted.  Mayor Graham looked to DeBerg for her input regarding the purchase.  DeBerg stated that it was not in the budget and with the budget process starting next month for FY19 she suggested they wait and put it in next year’s budget if feasible.  Mayor Graham stated that with some of the plans he has in mind, the City would need that building.  Mayor Graham agreed to table the topic until January or when budget workshops begin, and that prior to then he would speak with the new County Engineer and Supervisors to see where they stand.

 

Updates were given on old business.  Wessels stated that he was having a hard time getting bids for the heating/cooling improvements in City Hall.  Prior to the meeting DeBerg had distributed to the Council an example of a form letter that could be used to request a bid.  She explained that using this letter was a way to show an attempt was made to obtain bids in the event that three bids are not received.  Mayor Graham suggested this letter be used to request bids on this project.  It was also decided that the heating/cooling improvements should include the second floor of City Hall.  Mayor Graham requested a decision be made on the City Hall sidewalk.  The concern being the best way to make City Hall accessible to individuals with disabilities.  Mayor Graham had considered raising the floor in the center area of City Hall so that the first floor would all be the same level with no steps.   Doing this would mean that no matter what outside door was made accessible, a disabled individual would be able to access all rooms inside.  DeBerg expressed that she was not in favor of this idea due to the extra cost, and the inconvenience and disruption it would cause at City Hall.  Harms suggested they make the sidewalk to the center door accessible so that disabled individuals could come in to City Hall and conduct business, and in the rare occasions that a disabled individual attends a council meeting, they could enter through that same door and sit at the doorway to the council chambers, where they would still be able to observe and take part in the meeting.  All the Council agreed.  Gallentine will get bids for the project. 

 

Other old business included the review of Ordinance No. 488 Amending Section 90.10, Pertaining to Installation of Water Service Pipe.  Brass and Jones still both agreed that if plastic is long lasting, traceable, and less expensive than copper, then the property owner should be allowed to decide what to use.  Wessels informed the Council that copper must be used in certain areas in the City where there are tanks per the IDNR.  Gallentine presented the Council with maps that showed these numerous areas.  Wessels went on to say that the City needs consistency and it shouldn’t let some people use plastic and others copper.  In light on this new information, Brass and Jones agreed to let the ordinance stand as is. 

 

Wessels spoke with an individual at the property that is next to the lot that was donated to the City by Habitat for Humanity to inform them of the City’s desire to put the lot up for bid.  He discovered that the owner of the property does not live there, but does live in town.  Mayor Graham asked Wessels to continue to try to speak with the owner.

 

DeBerg informed the Council that attorney Mike Smith is still working on drafting a resolution on the Industrial Park Final Plat.  Gallentine stated that the plats are currently marked and suggested the City put up stakes.

 

Mayor Graham invited the newly elected council members to attend the Municipal Leadership Academy and informed them that the City would cover the cost.

 

Wessels spoke on behalf of Fire Chief Tim Eichmeier and explained that they have not been able to sell the old fire truck which they originally thought would sell for $10,000-$15,000.  Knowing that the City of Geneva only has one truck and is not interested in purchasing anything at this time, Eichmeier wants to let them use this truck and store it in their building.  Mayor Graham expressed concern about insurance.  Harms asked what has been done to advertise it.  Judy Crawford, council member-elect, and DeBerg both mentioned that advertising is available through the Iowa League of Cities.  Wessels offered to check on the insurance, and Jones will get the specifications on the truck to DeBerg to advertise with the League.

 

Public Comments:  Paul Williams, Williams Excavation & Directional Boring, stated that in years past he has received a maintenance list from the City on work to be done.  Since it is getting closer to freezing, he was just wondering if the City has anything for him.  Deputy Clerk Malena Dennis stated she would get him a list.

 

With no further discussion, Harms moved, Jones seconded, to adjourn at 8:34 p.m.  Ayes-All.  Motion carried.

 

To view financials, click to download the complete minutes as a PDF.

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