Ackley City Council | Regular Meeting

January 11, 2018

ACKLEY CITY COUNCIL met in regular session, January 10, 2018, 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:  Judy Crawford, Pat Daggs, Pat Hurt, and Joe Wessels.  Absent:  Al Jones.  Quorum present.

 

Daggs moved, Hurt seconded, to approve the January 10, 2018 Agenda as listed.  Ayes-Crawford, Daggs, Hurt, Wessels.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

Wessels moved, Crawford seconded, to approve the Consent Agenda by one motion:  a) December 13, 2017 Regular Mtg Minutes with the following spelling corrections as noted by Clerk Kelly DeBerg:  Trent Mennenga, John Muller, and David Boogerd.  b) Bills approval authorizing payment of bills and transfers as listed.  c) Place Reports on file:  December 2017 Clerk Bank Reconciliation/Treasurer Report, December 2017 Clerk Budget Reports, December 2017 Deputy Clerk Utility Billing Reconciliation, December 2017 Ambulance Monthly Report, 4th Quarter 2017 Prairie Bridges Financial Reports.  Ayes-Crawford, Daggs, Hurt, Wessels.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

Wessels moved, Hurt seconded, to open the public hearing at 7:04 p.m. on the first reading of proposed Ordinance No. 501 Amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Ackley, Iowa by Amending Chapter 26 Tourism Board of Trustees to Eliminate Said Chapter and Board.  Ayes-Crawford, Daggs, Hurt, Wessels.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.  No oral or written comments or objections were received.  Hurt moved, Wessels seconded, to close the public hearing at 7:05 p.m.  Ayes-Crawford, Daggs, Hurt, Wessels.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

Hurt moved, Daggs seconded, to approve the first reading of proposed Ordinance No. 501 Amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Ackley, Iowa by Amending Chapter 26 Tourism Board of Trustees to Eliminate Said Chapter and Board.  Roll call vote:  Ayes-Daggs, Hurt, Wessels, Crawford.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

Crawford moved, Wessels seconded, to waive the second and third readings of said proposed Ordinance No. 501.  Roll call vote:  Ayes-Daggs, Wessels, Crawford, Hurt.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

Hurt moved, Daggs seconded, to adopt proposed Ordinance No. 501 Amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Ackley, Iowa by Amending Chapter 26 Tourism Board of Trustees to Eliminate Said Chapter and Board.  Roll call vote:  Ayes-Wessels, Crawford, Daggs, Hurt.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

Daggs moved, Hurt seconded, to open the public hearing at 7:08 p.m. on the first reading of proposed Ordinance No. 502 Amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Ackley, Iowa by Amending Section 69.13, Pertaining to Snow Removal.  Ayes-Crawford, Daggs, Hurt, Wessels.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.  No oral or written comments or objections were received. 

 

Wessels moved, Crawford seconded, to close the public hearing at 7:08 p.m.  Ayes-Crawford, Daggs, Hurt, Wessels.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

Hurt moved, Wessels seconded, to approve the first reading of proposed Ordinance No. 502 Amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Ackley, Iowa by Amending Section 69.13, Pertaining to Snow Removal.  Roll call vote:  Ayes-Wessels, Crawford, Daggs, Hurt.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.  This ordinance makes it unlawful for a vehicle to remain on the street during a snow emergency.

 

Daggs moved, Hurt seconded, to waive the second and third readings of said proposed Ordinance No. 502.  Roll call vote:  Ayes-Crawford, Daggs, Hurt, Wessels.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

Daggs moved, Wessels seconded, to adopt proposed Ordinance No. 502 Amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Ackley, Iowa by Amending Section 69.13, Pertaining to Snow Removal.  Roll call vote:  Ayes-Daggs, Hurt, Wessels, Crawford.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

Daggs moved, Wessels seconded, to adopt Resolution No. 17-69 Approving the Purchase Order Policy with amendments to the policy as discussed.  Those amendments included allowing the council committees to make the decision on when bids are required to be obtained on purchases over $500, and allowing any two councilpersons to sign a purchase order as long as the chair of the council committee is notified.  Roll call vote:  Ayes-Hurt, Wessels, Crawford, Daggs.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

Mayor Graham appointed Councilperson Pat Hurt as Mayor Pro Tem.  Daggs moved, Crawford seconded, to re-appoint Kelly DeBerg as City Clerk for a two year term.  Ayes-Crawford, Daggs, Hurt, Wessels.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.  Crawford moved, Hurt seconded, to re-appoint Mike Smith as City Attorney for a two year term.  Ayes-Crawford, Daggs, Hurt, Wessels.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

Wessels moved, Crawford seconded, to approve the Cigarette/Tobacco/Nicotine/Vapor Permit for Dollar General Store #18911.  Ayes-Crawford, Daggs, Hurt, Wessels.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

Hurt moved, Daggs seconded, to approve the Butler Street Project Statement of Completion and Final Acceptance of Work.  Ayes-Crawford, Daggs, Hurt, Wessels.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

Discussion was held regarding the curb stop repair that had been completed at 603 Douglas.  The location of the new curb stop, which was chosen by the local PeopleService representative, is outside of the City right of way, which is in conflict with the City Ordinance.  Wessels has spoken with the property owner and would like to ask the property owner to write a letter stating that the City has the right to go on his property to turn the water off for nonpayment, if ever needed.  Wessels will ask Attorney Smith for his advice.  Lee Gallentine, City Engineer, explained that there is a way to do the shut off correctly.  Hurt noted that even with the letter the City would still be in violation.  Mayor Graham tabled a decision until the next regular meeting.

 

Gallentine stated that the Industrial Park Roadway Project is complete.  Crawford moved, Wessels seconded, to accept the project and approve the final payment of $20,002.97.  Ayes-Crawford, Daggs, Hurt, Wessels.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

Gallentine informed the Council that the City has been approved for the Planning and Design loan as well as the Phase 1 loan for the Sanitary Sewer Continuing Improvement Plan, and that it would be nice if the City would get bids this late winter. 

 

Gallentine reported that all building permits are up to date.

 

Dustin Ingram, Economic Development Director, briefed the Council on his Director’s Report.  Ingram informed them that one of the major items he is working on is a housing project.  With the completion of the Industrial Park roadway, Ingram asked the Council for guidance in setting a price for lots in the Industrial Park.  In the past lots were sold for about $9,000 per acre.  Council agreed to continue offering them at that price.

 

Daggs presented a new rate option for the increase in sewer rates for the Sanitary Sewer Improvement Project.  She explained that she contacted Michael Hart, Northland Securities, to discuss other options because the 50/50 rate increase that was passed by Council in the December 13, 2017 council meeting was going to really impact high users.  Daggs and Wessels, Water/Sanitation Committee, recommended that the Council go with a $47.50 base rate.  Daggs also pointed out that there is a City Ordinance that allows the Council to impose a special sewer rate if conditions exist that make the current rate schedule unfair to a customer.  Daggs has contacted the City’s highest user to discuss the impact the rate change would have on them.  She is waiting for a call back from an officer of the company.  Wessels explained that the reason he previously voted in favor of the 50/50 rate change was because it was simpler for the majority.  Wessels asked if we could adjust higher users.  Gallentine explained that we could, but then we would have to raise smaller users more because we must meet the terms of the loan, which require the City to show that they are bringing in 110% of the loan.  Mayor Graham stated that he would like to wait and see what the higher user says when they call back, and to discuss again at the upcoming special meeting.

 

DeBerg informed the Council that the Cougars Den agreement was costing the City about $5,453 per year.  DeBerg stated that in previous Cougars Den Advisory Board meetings, members indicated that the school would most likely be on board with increasing the rent they pay so that the City would not have this expense.  DeBerg proposed a monthly increase of $454 making the monthly rent $2,000.  DeBerg pointed out that this would not cover any major maintenance work as the City is responsible for any repairs over $1,000.  Crawford expressed concern with this, however Mayor Graham stated that this is a better plan than what we have had.  Hurt moved, Crawford seconded, to increase the rent for the Cougars Den by $454.  Ayes-Crawford, Daggs, Hurt, Wessels.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

Discussion was held regarding the Public Works Department and hiring new employees.  Current Streets Superintendent Galen Daniels plans to retire October 3rd.  Council is also considering bringing the Water/Sanitation Sewer Superintendent position in house.  Wessels has spoken with the City’s current PeopleService representative regarding this change.  Council would like to hire someone with a Grade 1 Water Certification or someone willing to get it.  Council is also reevaluating the cost of garbage service.  DeBerg suggested reviewing ads on the Iowa League of Cities for similar positions to get ideas.  Mayor Graham directed the council committees to further discuss.

 

Updates were given on old business.  Wessels informed the Council that he had bids for the lighting, heating and cooling in City Hall and will bring the information to the next meeting for the Council to approve a bid.  Wessels still has not heard from the neighboring property owner of the lot donated to the City by Habitat for Humanity.  Wessels stated he would bid on it and to start the process.  Council agreed to move forward with the formal bid process.  Wessels reported that the asbestos has been removed from the elevator and the permits have been given to Fire Chief Tim Eichmeier to complete.  Papers have also been submitted to the insurance company.  Neighboring property owners have not been notified yet.  Wessels stated that a date needs to be set to do the burn.  Wessels informed the Council that the downspouts at the library have been plugged and he is just waiting for it to rain to see what happens. 

 

DeBerg informed the Council that an ad has been placed on the Iowa League of Cities website for the sale of the fire truck, and it will run until the end of February.  DeBerg stated that she is still waiting on Smith for the resolution for the Industrial Park Final Plat.

 

Crawford asked about some of the stop signs around the old elementary school and the parking across from the Cougars Den.  Mayor Graham informed her that the idea of no parking across from the Cougars Den had been brought up in the past, but was dropped because of a resident on the street that opposed it.  Crawford stated that she felt Ordinance 69.11 regarding parking by the old school needed to be revised.  Mayor Graham stated that in the past the Streets Committee was going to review parking and consider some different options like odd/even parking on some streets.  Mayor Graham directed the new Streets Committee to readdress. 

 

Crawford also asked if the Council could get monthly reports from the Police Department and Fire Department.

 

Public Comments:  Police Chief Brian Shimon asked the Council about the status of the brick church at 420 State Street.  He stated that he has had people ask when the City is going to take it down.  Shimon stated it is unsafe.  The property owner would like to give it to the City.  Wessels stated that he should attempt to sell or give it to someone else.  Mayor Graham directed Wessels to contact the owner and inform him of that.  Shimon stated that per the ordinance it needs to be tagged.  Daggs agreed stating the City must follow the ordinance.  Mayor Graham and Crawford agreed as well.

 

Daggs asked what the status was of the property located at 626 Main Street.  Mayor Graham stated that he has received one revised bid from Kings Construction and that Hay Construction came yesterday to reevaluate and will resubmit a bid.  Once that bid is received then the Council can vote on the next action to be taken.  Ingram stated that the ADC is having a title search done.  Hurt questioned if there was anything that could be done to force the property owner to take financial responsibility.  Gallentine explained that once the City puts a lien on the property the property owner can just not pay his taxes and then he loses the property.  There is no way we can make him pay. 

 

With no further discussion, Wessels moved, Hurt seconded, to adjourn at 9:06 p.m.  Ayes-Crawford, Daggs, Hurt Wessels.  Absent-Jones.  Motion carried.

 

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

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