COUNCIL: Belle Plaine Council discussed water and sewer rates

Belle Plaine, Iowa

Belle Plaine City Hall

May 20, 2020

The Belle Plaine City Council met on May 20, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom with Mayor Dave Fish presiding in the council chambers. The council members attended by Zoom on their Chromebooks. The Council members are: Mitch Malcolm, Mary Pech, Mark Tegeler, Judy Schlesselman, and Garrett Landuyt. Also attending were City Administrator Stephen Beck and Jennifer Zahradnik, City Attorney. City Clerk Jacki McDermott attended electronically. Lance Hinschberger from Belle Plaine Parks and Rec was present to video the meeting for Facebook. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Motion by Landuyt, seconded by Malcolm to approve the Consent Agenda, the Council Minutes of May 6, 2020, and bills received. On roll call vote, all voted Aye, motion carried.

Resident Comments: Andy Neuhaus remarked on Facebook that he would like to comment about the proposed ordinance changes and the City Attorney relayed that message to the mayor.

Morgan Mitchell from Belle Plaine Community Development Corporation gave a written report. She mentioned that the new auto dealership will have a ribbon cutting ceremony soon. The hanging baskets and flags are up downtown and she is working with school district to assist with graduation. BPCDC also composed a new list of businesses that were open in town & their hours.

Chief Kris Hudson wrote that the police department is waiting on the new pickup to arrive. On Monday, a small graduation ceremony was held for Officers Ben Eden and Austin Wille who completed the police academy. The City now has five full time police officers. The police will be enforcing the code on golf carts.

The mayor opened the public hearing on the second amendment to the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget. No one appeared for or against the amendment. Motion by Schlesselman, seconded by Tegeler, to approve Resolution 20-05-04: a resolution amending the Belle Plaine City Budget for fiscal year 2020. On roll call vote, all voted Aye, motion carried.

The mayor opened the public hearing on whether the city should apply for a USDA grant to pay for 55% of the cost of the computers for the police vehicles. No one appeared for or against the matter. Motion by Tegeler, seconded by Malcolm, to approve Resolution 20-05-01: a resolution authorizing the mayor to sign all documents to apply for the grant. On roll call vote, all voted Aye, motion carried.

Motion by Malcolm, seconded by Pech to approve the application for tax abatement under the Belle Plaine Revitalization Plan for the Garry W. Hevalow and Mary H. Preston Revocable Trust at 1303 4th Avenue in Belle Plaine. On roll call vote, all voted Aye, motion carried.

Motion by Landuyt, seconded by Schlesselman to approve the renewal of a Class B Native Wine Permit with outdoor service to Cornerstone Apothecary at 731 12th Street. On roll call vote, all voted Aye, motion carried.

Water and sewer rate raises were discussed and Andy Neuhaus brought up that he would like to see an “across-the-board” raise so that every household pays the same amount. The mayor and Malcolm, Pech, and Tegeler all voiced that they believe that raises should be based on usage. Landuyt asked how long we need to raise rates and it was mentioned that there is no incentive to fix broken equipment if all residents are charged alike.

Motion by Pech, seconded by Malcolm to approve the first reading of Ordinance #87: an ordinance that calls for a 20 cents per thousand gallons raise and a 25 cents per thousand gallons raise for out-of-town customers for water rates starting in the next fiscal year. On roll call vote, Pech, Malcolm, Tegeler, Landuyt, and Schlesselman all voted Aye, motion carried.

Motion by Tegeler, seconded by Landuyt to approve the first reading of Ordinance #99: an ordinance that calls for a 31 cents per thousand gallons raise for sewer rates starting in the next fiscal year. On roll call vote, Pech, Malcolm, Tegeler, Landuyt, and Schlesselman all voted Aye, motion carried.

The Committee of the Whole discussed the handling of nuisance complaints and it was determined that after an extension has been granted or after time has run out on the nuisance complaint that a second letter will be sent with a hearing date before the city council. Then, the Council can either dismiss the complaint, order a city work force to remove the nuisance and assess the cost to the property owner, cite the property owner with a municipal infraction and send it to court, petition the court for a nuisance violation under Iowa Code 657 and subject to criminal charges or finally, petition the court for a nuisance violation and abandoned property under Iowa Cody Chapter 657 (a). So rather than adding more code to the city code book, the council decided to completely use the current code as it has been written and, as a council, they will take a more active role in dealing with nuisance complaints and violations.

The Council reviewed the April reports, including the City Treasurer’s Report, the Solar Report, and the City Budget Report.

City Administrator Stephen Beck told the Council that the rebuild on Well #3 is coming along at a good pace. He noted that the city has completed an inventory of empty lots which may be used by Rural Housing 360, and thanked Iowa Prison Industries for the sanitizer that they have sent to the City of Belle Plaine.

Mayor Dave Fish reported that the city continues to follow the guidelines concerning the COVID-19 pandemic that the state sets out and that most of his meetings have been changed to Zoom video or audio meetings from his office.

Correspondence: A letter was received from the USDA stating that the City will qualify for a $15,000 water study grant.

Old Business: None

Motion by Malcolm, seconded by Landuyt to go into closed session at 7:04 p.m. per Iowa Code 21.5 (1) (c) to discuss strategy with counsel in matters that are presently in litigation or where litigation is imminent where its disclosure would likely to prejudice or disadvantage the position of the governmental body in that litigation. On roll call vote, Pech, Malcolm, Landuyt, Tegeler and Schlesselman all voted aye. Motion carried.

Motion by Malcolm, seconded by Schlesselman to come out of closed session at 7:20 p.m. On roll call vote, Pech, Malcolm, Tegeler, Landuyt, and Schlesselman all voted Aye, motion carried.

Motion by Tegeler, seconded by Malcolm to follow the advice of the City Attorney. On roll call vote, Pech, Malcolm, Tegeler, Landuyt, and Schlesselman all voted Aye, motion carried.

Motion by Tegeler to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Landuyt. On roll call vote, all voted Aye. Meeting adjourned at 7:22 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 May 20, 2020
$61.27Alliant (all bills)
$701.73Austin Wille (mileage and meal police academy)
$262.19Belle Plaine Hardware (supplies all depts)
$480.45Ben Eden (mileage and meals police academy)
$16,461.00Benton County Solid Waste Commission (4th Qtr Per Capita)
$75.00Deb Tonche (community center refund)
$1,889.15Ehlen Plumbing & Heating (pool repair and water line repair)
$1,056.98Independent Tech Solutions (set up Zoom and Chromebooks)
$165,953.10Iowa Finance Authority (sewer debt payment)
$1,184.00Keystone Labs (water and sewer testing)
$745.00Kieck’s (bullet proof vests)
$59.85Lynn Peavey Company (wipes)
$78.37National Processing Center (credit card fees)
$222.95Office Express (masks and shredder)
$30.00Petty Cash (police car washes)
$847.03Precision Sheet Metal (sign)
$573.09Register Media (legals)
$12,138.16Republic Services (garbage, recycling April & sewer plant May)
$12.96Schimberg (pool parts)
$162.65Storey Kenworthy (office supplies)
$75.00Thomas Company (repair community center ice machine)
$535.00Tom Miller (mowing)
$221.55Unum (insurance premiums)
$46.42U.S. Cellular (police cell)
$160.00VGM Forbin (COVID-19 remote computer monthly)
$2,674.55Visa (Call Em All, Go Daddy, Quickbooks payroll subscription)
$206,707.45


April 2020 SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS
Revenues by Fund
General$203,212.06
Road Use$29,511.28
Special Revenue (exc Road Use)$149,545.53
Capital Projects$0.00
Debt Service (proceeds of debt)$62,638.94
Airport$310.00
Water Project 2019$0.00
Water$31,077.37
Sewer Capital Project$47,075.00
Sewer $42,810.10
Landfill/Garbage$19,771.19
Storm Water$4,828.00
Yard Waste$2,298.00

$593,077.47
Disbursements by Fund
General$171,471.11
COVID-19 Spending$6,116.62
Prairie Park$0.00
Partners for Beautification$0.00
Road Use$23,849.15
Donovan Spending$639.28
Equipment$0.00
Economic Development$0.00
Housing & Urban Development$3,600.00
Employee Benefits$18,061.94
Emergency Fund$0.00
Police Forfeiture$0.00
LOST$0.00
TIF$0.00
Medical Bldg$0.00
Community Center$1,440.10
Library Improvement$1,217.85
Capital Projects$0.00
Debt Service $0.00
Airport$674.16
Water Project 2019-$839.90
Water$22,120.80
Sewer Project$0.00
Sewer $28,607.34
Landfill/Garbage$21,047.84
Stormwater$64.46
Yard Waste$4,766.30

$302,837.05

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