Council Minutes 10/28/2013

The City Council of La Porte City, Iowa met in regular session on October 28, 2013.  Mayor Rick Lubben called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM with Council Members Todd Butler, Sarah Craft, Mike Johnson and Kathy Norris. Absent was Council member Kim Ortiz. Also present were Corey Lorenzen, Shawn O’Shea, Eric Allsup, Ted Steffens, Brent Sadler, Kelen Noske and Terra Wood.

Moved by Norris, seconded by Butler to approve the AGENDA. Motion carried 4-0.

Moved by Butler, seconded by Norris to approve the CONSENT AGENDA, striking Public Works Report, including the October 14, 2013 Minutes, disbursements totaling $60,927.97 and Public Works Report for September, 2013. Motion carried 4-0 with Craft abstaining from payments to Dutton, Braun, Staack & Hellman due to a conflict of interest.

City Attorney Corey Lorenzen provided a summary of the status of the Koopman litigation.  A hearing is set on the City’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Friday, November 1.  It is Attorney Lorenzen’s hope that a judgment will be entered in favor of the City at this time, but if the Motion is denied the parties will proceed toward an undetermined trial date.  An update will be provided to the City Clerk following the hearing on November 1.

Committee member Terra Wood reviewed the ICE SKATING RINK UPDATE with the Council.  Members are continuing with fundraising efforts and hope to reach their goal of $5,000 by early November.  The Commission is formulating a request to FEMA for use of the buyout properties at the corner of West Main St and Tama Rd for the site of the rink. Wood also pointed out that if the commission doesn’t get FEMA approval for use of the West Main and Tama lots, the rink will likely be placed at the Eighth Street ball diamonds as an alternate location, and even moved to different locations each year. Wood also informed the Council that it was the intention of the Parks & Recreation Commission that the entire project will be funded through donations, City funds will not be used for any of the cost, however, if the rink is ordered by November 1, there is a discount that could be applied. Johnson asked if there were temperature limits that would prohibit placement of the rink if the temperature was too cold and would cause damage to the rink liner when it is laid out.

Moved by Craft, seconded by Norris to approve PURCHASE OF ICE RINK for a total cost of $4,619.73 plus shipping.  The funds will be borrowed from the Park Improvement Reserve Account until the fundraising dollars are received. All contributions are expected to be received by January 1, 2014.Motion carried 4-0.

Mayor Lubben provided a SIDEWALK REPAIR/REPLACEMENT UPDATE.  The City has not inspected sidewalks that were ordered repaired last year.  Council member Craft indicated that she would like to see repair orders for sidewalks along the streets that were repaired this summer sent out this fall.  Butler indicated that he thought inspections on properties previously ordered with repairs could also be done yet this year. Council members will form a committee to do the inspections.

Council Member Butler also revisited a cost estimate for grinding/leveling sidewalk joints from Precision Cutting from the October 14th meeting. Butler recommended that the Council table the estimate until the City’s sidewalk repair/replacement program can be further established.

Moved by Craft, seconded by Norris to forward REQUEST FOR REZONING TO THE PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION. The request is to rezone property lying to the west of the football field at Union High School from R1(residential) to A1(agricultural).  The property is currently used for row crops, however the zoning prohibits the construction of new accessory buildings desired by the land’s owners.  Rezoning would allow the property owners to add such buildings. Mayor Lubben inquired about the difference in property tax revenues should the rezoning take place.  An investigation showed the County is already assessing the property as “agricultural”, so little change in tax revenue is anticipated if the property is rezoned.  Motion carried 4-0.

The Council reviewed REQUEST FOR FOUR-WAY STOP AT INTERSECTION OF HILLCREST BLVD AND BARBERRY ST.  Police Chief Feaker submitted a written recommendation against creating another 4-way stop intersection in the area.  No action was taken.

Moved by Norris, seconded by Craft to approve the Hawkins Memorial Library Board of Trustees’ request to ALLOCATE 50% OF LIBRARY BOOK SALES TO TRUST.  Motion carried 4-0.

Moved by Craft, seconded by Butler to approve offering eligible City employees the opportunity to purchase VOLUNTARY SUPPLEMENTAL LIFE INSURANCE through MetLife.  The purchase would be at the employee’s discretion and the premium would be paid by the employee. Motion carried 4-0.

Moved by Johnson, seconded by Norris to approve a “RESOLUTION APPROVING FAÇADE IMPROVEMENT GRANT MAP”. The resolution sets the boundaries for the City’s CDBG Façade Improvement Grant application. Roll call vote carried 4-0 and Mayor Lubben declared Resolution 13-91 adopted.

Shawn O’Shea with MSA Professional Services updated the Council on the FAÇADE IMPROVEMENT GRANT PROGRAM.  Currently the City has 42% of properties within the Façade Improvement Grant Map area are classified as slum and blight.  O’Shea also discussed the City’s funding match for the Grant Project. After discussion, the Council reached consensus on providing $150,000 in matching funds for the grant.

Moved by Johnson, seconded by Butler to approve a “RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING DESTRUCTION OF CITY RECORDS”. The resolution authorizes the City Clerk to destroy and dispose of records that have exceeded their useful life in accordance with the City’s Records Retention Schedule. Motion carried 4-0 and Mayor Lubben declared Resolution 13-92 adopted.

Moved by Norris, seconded by Craft to approve a “RESOLUTION AMENDING LIBRARY DIRECTOR’S SALARY” The resolution amends the salary of Library Director Jolene Kronschanbel to $14.18/hr.  Motion carried 4-0 and Mayor Lubben declared Resolution 13-93 adopted.

The Council reviewed preliminary plans for a PROPOSED REAP GRANT PROJECT.  The plans call for a stream bank reclamation project along the banks of Wolf Creek, as well as the establishment of a kayak landing and parking area as well as rehabilitation of the trail along Wolf Creek from the Fire Station to the Gazebo.  City staff is seeking multiple grants to fund the projects.

Moved by Craft, seconded by Johnson to adjourn at 8:43PM. Motion carried 4-0.

Jane Whittlesey, City Clerk                                                                Rick Lubben, Mayor


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