BP COUNCIL: Updates given on Herring Hotel, driver’s license station

Belle Plaine, Iowa

January 15, 2020

The Belle Plaine City Council met on January 15, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Dave Fish presiding. Present: Judy Schlesselman, Mary Pech (by phone), Mark Tegeler, Mitch Malcolm and Garrett Landuyt. Also present were City Clerk Jacki McDermott, City Administrator Steve Beck and City Attorney Jennifer Zahradnik.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Motion by Landuyt to approve the consent agenda consisting of council minutes from January 2, 2020 and bills received, with the addition of a motion to set a public hearing for February 5, 2020, second was by Malcolm. On roll call, all voted aye. Motion carried.

Residents Comments: None.

Morgan Mitchell from Belle Plaine Community Development told the council that there was an Open House/Ribbon Cutting for Hair by Halle and that the business is up for a Main Street Iowa Award for Superior Interior Rehabilitation. Morgan made business visits this month to Belle Plaine Chiropractic, Spotlight Studios, Walter Chiropractic and Styling with Trish. Accreditation documents were sent to Main Street Iowa for renewal of the accreditation. The Larry Schlue Memorial Sound Park will be receiving the 1000 Friends of Iowa Urban Place Making/Green Space Award for 2019 on January 21st in Des Moines and several from the City will be attending. The holiday decorations downtown will be removed by the Fire Department on Sunday, weather permitting.

Chief Kris Hudson gave the Police Report and reported he has interviews this week for the police officer position. The new carpet is down and painting will start soon. They received a grant for two new defibrillators and will have two old ones to donate to a public building.

Motion by Schlesselman, seconded by Malcolm, to approve Resolution 20-01-02 setting the Public Hearing on the Maximum Levy for February 19, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall. On roll call, all voted Aye. Motion carried.

Motion by Malcolm, seconded by Landuyt, to set the Public Hearing on the Amendment for the FY 2019- FY2020 Budget for February 5, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall. On roll call, all voted Aye. Motion carried.

Motion by Tegeler, seconded by Landuyt to appoint John Atkinson to the Tree Board. On roll call vote, all voted Aye, motion carried. The City Attorney pointed out that if there are any services provided to the City by the company that he works for that competitive bids need to be obtained.

An update was given recently on the Herring Hotel in Belle Plaine.

The City now owns the Herring Hotel. The Council was asked what they want the City to do with the property. The City has added insurance for the property. The City Attorney will furnish the Council and the City Administrator with three or four different examples of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for development of the property. The RFP would specify that any developer would need to have a local citizen on their board and be required to follow a time line or the property would revert to the city. Mitch Malcolm mentioned that Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ausberger, who are members of the Lincoln Highway Association, might be interested; however, they would need local people on their board. The City Attorney mentioned that a vendor who worked on the Herring Hotel had not been paid in full. The City is not responsible and no judgement was filed. Any judgements would have been wiped out when the city took possession. The council mentioned that some of the plywood panels on the side of the Herring Hotel need to be removed for better traffic view at the corner of 13th Street & 8th Avenue and one of the sidewalk drain grates needs to be fixed. The Mayor told the council that the street department and the city administration will check it next week to see what can be done.

The City Administrator talked to the council about his visit with the County Board of Supervisors concerning the drivers license station being removed from Belle Plaine. The City of Belle Plaine received a letter from the Benton County Treasurer about closing the Driver’s License Station in Belle Plaine which has been a satellite office since at least the 1960s. The Treasurer intends to close the Belle Plaine office after January 29, 2020. The email addresses for the Board of Supervisors were circulated to the council members so that they could contact the Supervisors with their concerns. Councilperson Schlesselman and the Mayor received no response from the Board of Supervisors. The City Administrator wrote a letter concerning this issue for all the council and the Mayor to sign and then appeared at the Board of Supervisors meeting in Vinton to read his letter. In this meeting, the County Attorney absolved the Supervisors of any responsibility in this matter saying that the newly appointed Benton County Treasurer made this decision. The Treasurer was present at the meeting to state that it would be too difficult for the people to understand if they were to compromise and come to Belle Plaine once or twice a month. Mitch Malcolm suggested that the Council on Aging should be contacted concerning this issue and see if they would write a letter to the Treasurer about the decision to move the Driver’s License Station from Belle Plaine. The Belle Plaine site is much more elderly and handicapped friendly than the County Court House. The City Administrator said that we need to mobilize our people and get a County Treasurer more friendly to the people, noting she was appointed and she will be up for election in November. The previous Benton County Treasurer was instrumental in keeping Driver’s License Stations in Benton County and she and the Deputy Treasurer loved coming here.

The Mayor suggested that he and the City Administrator would meet next week and work out a plan to contact the Treasurer.

In the Mayor’s report, he told the Council that he attended a meeting of the East Central Iowa Council of Governments where the subject was raises for the employees and nominations for Executive Board officials. The agency is undergoing reorganization and one of the veteran employees is now gone. He has a Benton County Landfill meeting tomorrow and Benton Development Group at the end of the month.

There is another snow event expected for next week. The Street Department has a new attachment coming that is a wide angled plow for the end loader. Schlesselman suggested that 13th Avenue by the school be sanded earlier.

Resident comments: Kim Purk noted to the council that if a group to save the Herring Hotel is formed, she would be glad to work on it.

Correspondence: None

Old Business: None.

Motion by Tegeler to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Malcolm. On roll call vote, all voted Aye, motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 7:00 p.m.


Dave Fish, Mayor

Attest: _____________________________

Jacki McDermott, City Clerk

Transcribed by the City Clerk subject to Council approval

Claims Approved by the City Council on January 15, 2020
$193.84Alliant (all bills)
$166.89Avesis (vision premiums)
$374.13Belle Plaine Hardware (supplies all depts)
$10.00Benton County Treasurer (release assessments)
$293.73CarQuest (fire dept antifreeze)
$92.00Countryside Vet Clinic (boarding strays)
$1,723.73Crescent Electric (lighting for fire dept)
$3,023.24Double Take Design (carpet for police station)
$89.00Dr. De Ann M. Fitzgerald, O.D. (pre-employment physical)
$262.58Galls (police jacket)
$1,563.88Grieder’s Standard (fuel all depts)
$94.00Group Services (premiums)
$2,983.15H&L Repair (vehicle repair)
$1,930.00heartsmart.com (defibrillator)
$60.00Iowa DNR (test fees)
$190.00International Assn of Chiefs of Police (dues)
$226.95Kieck’s (police clothing)
$610.83KMDE (solar electricity)
$780.06Koch Office Group (copy machine contract)
$1,983.45Kollmorgen, Schlue & Zahradnik (legals)
$710.67Manatts (sand)
$61.91National Processing Center (credit card fees)
$98.44Nick Viall (mileage)
$178.82Office Express (envelopes)
$2,493.50Peerless Energy Systems (sewer generator repair)
$265.53Register Media (legals)
$12,138.16Republic Services (garbage, recycling Dec & sewer plant Jan)
$10.36Sandy Walton (cleaning supplies)
$30.00Secretary of State (notary)
$200.00Stamp Ag (drone traffic study)
$206.54Storey Kenworthy (office supplies)
$44.98Streicher’s (police equipment)
$239.41Town & Country Wholesale (supplies all depts)
$220.05Unum (life insurance premiums)
$47.12U.S. Cellular (police cell)
$512.52USA Communications (phones and internet all depts)
$1,736.81VGM Forbin (computer)
$383.00Virginia Gay Hospital (police physical and hearing test)
$15.00Visa (Call Em All)
$121.06Wayne Parizek (keys and dinnerware for comm center)

Revenues by Fund
Road Use$27,797.47
Special Revenue (exc Road Use)$27,484.15
Capital Projects$290.50
Debt Service (proceeds of debt)$9,351.69
Water Project 2019$0.00
Sewer Capital Project$0.00
Sewer $51,512.39
Storm Water$4,816.00
Yard Waste$2,292.00

Disbursements by Fund
Prairie Park$0.00
Partners for Beautification$0.00
Road Use$14,767.42
Donovan Spending$0.00
Economic Development$317.00
Housing & Urban Development$15,156.67
Employee Benefits$10,446.80
Emergency Fund$0.00
Police Forfeiture$297.83
Medical Bldg$0.00
Community Center$1,350.28
Library Improvement$534.35
Capital Projects$545.00
Debt Service $3,956.83
Water Project 2019$839.90
Sewer Project$328.16
Sewer $18,736.96
Storm Water$5,412.25
Yard Waste$0.00


Revenues by Fund
Road Use$20,082.09
Special Revenue (exc Road Use)$79,146.69
Capital Projects$0.00
Debt Service (proceeds of debt)$20,337.03
Water Project 2019$0.00
Sewer Capital Project$0.00
Sewer $31,965.28
Storm Water$4,840.00
Yard Waste$2,306.00

Disbursements by Fund
Prairie Park$0.00
Partners for Beautification$0.00
Road Use$33,126.71
Donovan Spending$0.00
Economic Development$4,500.00
Housing & Urban Development$0.00
Employee Benefits$14,462.80
Emergency Fund$0.00
Police Forfeiture$19.98
Medical Bldg$0.00
Community Center$3,631.29
Library Improvement$1,907.20
Capital Projects$0.00
Debt Service $500.00
Water Project 2019$0.00
Sewer Project$87.00
Sewer Sinking Fund$26,953.10
Sewer $21,934.87
Storm Water$0.00
Yard Waste$0.00


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