11/7/2012 11:18:00 AM Waukon City Council discusses Third Street NE, variety of other issues at regular Monday session
by Dwight Jones
The Waukon City Council met in regular session the evening of Monday, November 5 with the full council in attendance. Resident Donna Schmidt spoke for a group of Third Street NE property owners, many of them in attendance as well, with questions regarding the street improvement project currently being considered for their street. Questions involved whether the plans they had received are final and the stabilization of trees in the area. The group seemed satisfied with the answers that were given. Continuing with Third Street NE discussion, resident Nona Sawyer had questions about visits by council members to assessed home owners that had been discussed, and she was told that they would still happen. Sherryl Paul expressed concerns about water run-off at her property and was told that it had not been investigated but could be. Moving to Departmental Reports, Assistant Police Chief Phil Young notified the Council that the City’s storm sirens and radios within the squad cars had all been updated to meet new guidelines. Brian Stark with Gardner Architecture updated the Council on the bids that had been received for the Robey Memorial Library expansion project. Eight bids had been received, with the lowest coming from Cresco Building Services (CBS) of Cresco. Their bid was $131,000 less than projected estimates, and was then accepted by the Council, including three additional options that would allow for replacing the roof on the current building, new windows in the current building and replacing some existing concrete. CBS is anticipating having work completed by the end of October 2013, though a good winter weather-wise could allow for work to be done sooner. The third and final reading allowing the rezoning of a property owned by Dan Welsh in southwest Waukon was approved. City Attorney Jim Garrett and members of the Waukon Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) then reviewed a draft of an agreement that Garrett had prepared regarding the Ulring Building project in downtown Waukon. The Council approved the agreement that still has to be approved by WEDC before becoming final. Councilman Joe Cunningham updated the Council on a parcel of land used for the recently “looped” trail throughout the Waukon City Park and Industrial Park that WEDC was wishing to donate to the City. An agreement will be worked on in the coming weeks. Next, the Council reviewed needs of the Police Department, especially much-needed building repairs and ongoing issues with the department’s fleet of vehicles. A bid from Tony Beneke for $8,300 to replace the building roof was approved. The Council also approved the sale of a squad car, the transfer of another to the Park and Recreation Department, and agreed to review funding for a new all-wheel drive vehicle at the upcoming budget discussions. The Council then approved a stop sign at the intersection of Thirteenth Avenue SW and Ninth Street SW, which is basically the end of the driveway for the new Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) building in the Industrial Park. Next, the Council approved bills relating to the sports field project adjacent the Wellness Center, including $1,840 to Sodko, Inc. and $1,020 to Innovative Ag. The Council then discussed the Bresnahan sewer acquisition, including easements, the appraisal, etc. Garrett explained that he had learned that Wayne Martin, who has a private line attached to the Bresnahan line, paid for the construction of his line and the Council agreed that some compensation would likely be refunded to Martin to cover his expenses, an agreement separate to the proposed condemnation between the Bresnahans and the City. Garrett updated the Council on the search for a firm that could provide a review of the plans originally developed by TeKippe Engineering for the formerly mentioned Third Street NE project. Garrett explained that no one was questioning the quality of the plans, but rather that a review could be useful for a number of reasons, including in the event that legal action should move forward. The Council agreed to secure the services of H.R. Veenstra, Jr. from West Des Moines. The Council then had its annual review of TIF (Tax Increment Financing) debt certification. The City currently has $1 million plus of annual TIF dollars available, but in past years has chosen not to certify the full amount available to help with General Fund woes. TIF dollars that are not used are then re-distributed, with roughly one-third each going to the Allamakee County School District, Allamakee County and the City of Waukon. Following a lengthy discussion, the Council agreed to certify $630,000 plus whatever dollars are needed to satisfy previously approved tax abatements. The total amount will end up similar to what the City certified last year. The Council then approved the re-appointment of Dennis Lyons to serve on the Wellness Center Board. Also, property tax exemption applications were approved for Dean Lansing and Patty Fosaaen.
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