Belle Plaine, Iowa
March 3, 2021
The Belle Plaine City Council met on March 3, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. at the Belle Plaine Community Center to allow for social distancing, with Mayor Dave Fish presiding. Present: Mary Pech, Judy Schlesselman, Mitch Malcolm, and Garrett Landuyt. Mark Tegeler was absent. Also present: City Administrator Stephen Beck and City Clerk Jacki McDermott.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Motion by Schlesselman to approve the consent agenda consisting of the council minutes of February 17, 2021, and bills received, seconded by Pech, with the following addition to the minutes: add the words “on private property” to describe the “racist” sign. On roll call, all voted aye. Motion carried.
Residents Comments: None.
Lance Hinschberger gave the annual report from the Parks and Recreation Department. This will be his third summer with the City of Belle Plaine. Covid-19 has caused the lowest spending for his department in recent years. Under $10,000 was spent for utility bills and maintenance, whereas the first year he was here, the deficit was nearly $40,000, which is normal to operate a pool. Tracy Papesh has been appointed to the Park Board to take Rich Franklin’s place. They are hoping for a full summer at the pool and will follow CDC recommendations. The derecho caused damage to trees at the parks and Lance met with FEMA today to look at the damage. There is also damage to fences, buildings and playground structures from the derecho that will be repaired. The Park Board is still working on the bathroom project and will need to raise $25,000. Lance wants to get the old building down this summer. Portable restrooms will be used this year, as well as the restroom by the campground.
Motion by Malcolm, seconded by Pech to approve the appointment of Dave Hrabak to the Community Center Board to replace Mardene Garling. On roll call vote, all voted aye, motion carried. The mayor will give him the Oath of Office.
Motion by Malcolm, seconded by Schlesselman to approve the renewal of a Class C beer permit (BC), with Sunday sales, Class E Liquor License (LE), Class B Wine permit (carry out wine which includes native wine), and Sunday Sales for Zip Mart at 702 13th Street in Belle Plaine. All voted Aye; the motion was approved.
Motion by Landuyt, seconded by Schlesselman to approve the renewal of a Class C Liquor License (LC) with outdoor service and Sunday Sales for Grand Central Station at 803 12th Street in Belle Plaine. All voted Aye; the motion was approved.
Motion by Schlesselman, seconded by Landuyt to create a “sweep” account for insurance purposes, a separate bank account for a direct debit from a third-party vendor who will be working with Group Services/Alera Group to process insurance reimbursements for the City of Belle Plaine. All voted Aye; the motion was approved.
The City of Belle Plaine received a proposal today regarding the Herring Hotel. Council members will read the proposal and discuss it at the March 17 council meeting.
The City Administrator, Stephen Beck, notified the council that he has spoken to a representative from the Union Pacific railroad about cutting down fallen trees on the railroad right-of-way and the representative replied that they will be taken care of soon.
He also told them about a meeting with a FEMA representative to try to resolve problems. He told them that an electrical engineer is looking at the generator projects to price the equipment needed and to make sure solar will still work if the generators kick in. He told them the insurance quotes for repairing the park equipment have been approved. He notified them that USA Communications will be building out their broadband capabilities in the city. He has spoken to the representative from the Mansfield Grant that there will be grant money available for the restroom project. He has also been talking to Willes about replacement trees for the parks. He asked for council members to volunteer to host Main Street Iowa representatives to the city on March 16. He also told the council we are still waiting on a catalyst grant for the Jasnos building. He advised that there will be a meeting on trees that city representatives will be attending on March 16.
Mayor Dave Fish told the council he attended a meeting of Benton Development Group. They are accepting proposals from all the banks in the county to choose a bank. They also will be going back to live meetings next month. He also attended a meeting of East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) where he serves as treasurer. He is learning how to electronically sign documents for the organization. They may go to live meetings in May. The annual financial report was presented and they are looking forward to the announcement of a multi-million dollar grant. He is still following up on our Clerkbooks specialist to make programming changes so that the read dates on the meters can be put on the monthly bills.
Resident Comments: None
Old Business: None.
Motion by Landuyt to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Malcolm. On roll call, all voted aye. Meeting adjourned at 6:52 p.m.
Dave Fish, Mayor
Jacki McDermott, City Clerk