The City Council of La Porte City, Iowa met in regular session at the City Park Shelter on September 23, 2013. Mayor Rick Lubben called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM with Council Members Sarah Craft, Mike Johnson and Kim Ortiz present. Absent were Council Members Kathy Norris and Todd Butler. Also present were Corey Lorenzen, Jacob Huck, Shawn O’Shea, Tom Clark, Aypryl Pippert and David Neil.
Moved by Ortiz, seconded by Craft to approve the AGENDA. Motion carried 3-0.
Moved by Craft, seconded by Johnson to approve the CONSENT AGENDA including the September 9, 2013 Minutes, disbursements totaling $113,350.86 and Public WorkS Report for August & September, 2013. Motion carried 3-0 with Craft abstaining from payments to Dutton, Braun, Staack & Helman due to a conflict of interest.
Council member Butler arrived at 7:01PM.
City Attorney updated the Council on the Koopman case. A motion for summary judgment has been filed and Lorenzen hopes to have a court date set soon.
Aquatic Center Manager Aypryl Pippert presented the SEASON END POOL REPORT. Revenues for the 2013 season were $45,224, down from the previous year due to a cool start to the summer. Pippert reported that lesson revenue grew from the previous season and that private lessons were very popular. Mayor Lubben suggested working closely with the Parks & Rec Commission and leaders of LPC Swim Team to find more hours for swim lessons in 2014 at times compatible with use of the pool by LPC Swim Team. Doing so would allow the Council to set the pool hours of operation based on such coordination of use. It was also suggested that replacement of capital equipment at the pool be made known for the Council’s consideration for funding when the City budget is being put together. Concessions revenue was down from the previous year as well. Moved by Craft, seconded by Ortiz to approve the pool report. Motion carried 4-0.
Jake Huck of MSA Professional Services presented options for PARKING ISSUES ON BISHOP AVENUE. Tom Clark, who owns the property located at 710 Bishop Avenue is planning to pave an area in front of the property for parking which will help alleviate parking issues there. Regarding the property located at 810 Bishop, Huck asked if the City would allow the property owner to pave additional right of way for parking at the property owner’s expense. Moved by Butler, seconded by Johnson to allow the property owner to modify the curb to allow for more parallel parking on the right of way. Motion carried 4-0.
Huck also provided at construction update for current street projects. Work on 2nd Street has resumed. Huck also provided the Council with estimates for overlay of Benton Street as well as sanitary sewer and manhole replacements on Maple and Bishop Ave. Total estimate for all changes is $277,457.80. Huck will prepare a change order to include the new items for Council approval at the October 14 Council meeting.
Moved by Johnson, seconded by Butler to approve the CONTRACT FOR CDBG GRANT WRITING with MSA Professional Services. The contract is for a sum of $3,000 to write the grant proposal for a façade improvement program for the downtown district. Motion carried 4-0.
The Council reviewed a map estimating Low to Moderate Income Housing in the community for a PROPOSED HOUSING REHAB GRANT. If the City were to apply for a CDBG Housing Rehabilitation Grant, the application could either be done on a community wide basis, or for targeted neighborhoods. For the targeted neighborhood approach, income surveys would need to be done for each household, and only homes in the targeted area with that are below the LMI guidelines would be eligible. The Council was presented with historical data regarding LMI eligible households in La Porte City. The data showed LMI-eligible properties to be scattered throughout the city with no well-defined concentration of properties that might lend themselves to a targeted area for grant funding. Jake Huck with MSA Professional Services indicated that they have had success with the whole community approach, regardless of that community’s overall LMI percentage. He also indicated that with the whole community approach, income surveys would not be necessary. The Council indicated that it would prefer to do the grant application on a community wide basis. MSA will provide the City with the needed procurement documents.
Moved by Craft, seconded by Ortiz to pass a “RESOLUTION APPROVING UPDATE TO EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK”. The resolution approves updated telephone and electronic communications policies for the employee handbook. Roll call vote passed 4-0 and Mayor Lubben declared Resolution 13-85 adopted.
Moved by Craft, seconded by Ortiz to approve a “RESOLUTION TRANSFERRING FUNDS FROM EQUIPMENT RESERVE TO GENERAL FUND”. The resolution transfers $16,669.99 from the Equipment Replacement Fund to the General Fund to cover the costs of the park shelter. Roll call vote passed 4-0 and Mayor Lubben declared Resolution 13-86 adopted.
Moved by Craft, seconded by Ortiz to approve a “RESOLUTION TRANSFERRING FUNDS FROM TRUST II TO GENERAL FUND”. The resolution transfers $1,432.93 from the museum account in the Trust II Fund to the General Fund to cover the costs of special events is fiscal year 2013. Roll call vote passed 4-0 and Mayor Lubben declared Resolution 13-87 adopted.
Moved by Craft, seconded by Butler to approve the FISCAL YEAR 2013 URBAN RENEWAL REPORT. The Urban Renewal Report is a State mandated report that illustrates the City’s utilization of Tax Increment Financing Funds. Motion carried 4-0.
The City Clerk outlined a potential housing incentive program to encourage housing growth at the Sweet Addition. The program would offer one time grants to new homeowners in the Sweet Addition. Such grants would be prospective in nature, to encourage more new houses being built in the Addition, and would not be retroactive for any houses recently built or completed. Moved by Butler, seconded by Craft to proceed with the SWEET ADDITION HOUSING INCENTIVE PROGRAM. Motion carried 4-0.
Moved by Craft, seconded by Ortiz to move forward with the proposed ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT LOAN, pending loan committee approval. Motion carried 4-0.
Moved by Butler, seconded by Craft to adjourn at 8:09PM. Motion carried 4-0.
Jane Whittlesey, City Clerk
Rick Lubben, Mayor