Belle Plaine Council – July 21, 2021

Belle Plaine City Hall

Belle Plaine, Iowa

July 21, 2021

The Belle Plaine City Council met on July 21, 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, City Attorney Jennifer Zahradnik and City Clerk Jacki McDermott.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Motion by Landuyt to approve the consent agenda consisting of the council minutes of July 7, 2021, and bills received, seconded by Schlesselman. On roll call, all voted aye. Motion carried.

Residents Comments: None.

Jason Kaplan, Fire Chief, and members of the Fire Department were present to discuss replacing the water tanker truck. A meeting with the City Administrator and the City Clerk will be scheduled to gather more information about available equipment choices and possible funding options before returning to the council for approval.

Rachel Montgomery from Belle Plaine Community Development was present to give the council an update on the activities from July 3. She said everything went well and BPCDC did make a profit. She said that next year the BPCDC will have a Kid Zone and a band, but another group will be needed to run the car show. She also reminded the group that the BPCDC Golf Outing will be in September. She mentioned that there will be a bio-cell committee meeting tomorrow.

The Mayor informed the council that Mosquito Control of Iowa has only sprayed once this summer because of dry conditions. If this trend continues, the city may have a reduced bill from the company. The Mayor gave the police report. He told the council that the police have filed five more building inspections. They have interviewed three people and have made a job offer to one person. All are certified police officers and two are from Blackhawk County. Hopefully, Officer Houstyn Phinney will be able to attend the police academy in August. The Mayor also advised the council that he and the City Administrator are working on the problems with the school stop light. The HAWK System of flashing yellow lights to flashing red lights is more desirable than the system that we now have. They had three engineers here to analyze the problem. He also urged the council to contract their state legislators about getting some support to get permission from the DOT to get a better system. We already have a new system, but don’t feel that it’s adequate and are, therefore, pursuing a better system.

Motion by Malcolm, seconded by Landuyt to approve the third reading of Ordinance 87, an ordinance amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Belle Plaine, Iowa, by amending provisions pertaining to water rates. The raise is $0.20 per thousand gallons in town and a raise of $0.25 per thousand gallons out of town. Rates are based on the bond closing rate study by Northland Securities. On roll call vote, all voted aye, motion carried. The ordinance will become law upon publication.

Motion by Landuyt, seconded by Schlesselman to approve the third reading of Ordinance 99, an ordinance amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Belle Plaine, Iowa, by amending provisions pertaining to sewer rates. The raise is $0.33 per thousand gallons. Rates are based on the bond closing rate study by Northland Securities. On roll call vote, all voted aye, motion carried. The ordinance will become law upon publication.

Motion by Landuyt, seconded by Schlesselman to approve Resolution #21-07-01: a resolution to establish the American Rescue Plan Act Fund. On roll call vote, all voted aye, motion carried.

Tracy Papesh was present to discuss honoring citizens at the Derecho celebration. She said that she will give a speech at Derecho Day as will the Mayor and also Pastor Kate West.

Hatch Grading from Dysart made the low bid for removal of the trailers west of the elementary school for $21,999. Motion by Malcolm, seconded by Schlesselman to have the City Attorney send a letter to the school to ask the school to pay the cost of the removal by Hatch Grading, and the legal acquisition fees for the property, and the fees for securing the trailer court prior to tear down. The school would receive the property that the trailers are removed from, and would deed to the city the triangle piece of property west of 10th Avenue near the school. On roll call vote, all voted aye, motion carried.

Motion by Malcolm, seconded by Pech to approve hiring Kasey Landuyt as janitor for City Hall and the Library. Garrett Landuyt abstained from voting and discussion on the matter. On roll call vote, Malcolm, Pech, and Schlesselman all voted aye, and Landuyt abstained. Motion carried.

The City Administrator, Stephen Beck, reported that he has been meeting with the tree board about tree replacement, particularly which kinds of trees should be planted in the right of way. He has been working with the lead arborist at Trees Forever on a list of approved trees. The tree board will approve where the trees can be planted in the parking. They have approved two trees on the parking to date. He is also working on a program for grants for trees. All trees that are planted in the right of way will have to be a minimum of five feet tall.

The City Administrator reported that all the fencing that was damaged in derecho has been replaced except near the Franklin Park concrete structure. They are saving some of that torn out fence in case the Park Board decides they want a dog park.

He also reported that he is working with the DNR to formulate a sharing agreement with the DNR and the City of Williamsburg to share a sewer operator.

He also reported that water usage is down to 250,000 to 300,000 gallons per day and all leaks have been fixed. The aquifer has dropped twelve inches since June. The city is still in the management mode, not the crisis mode. He has turned on Well 6 and ran it out on the ground for two hours to see if the well is ready to use if needed.

Mayor Dave Fish reported that he is updating the water restrictions and will publish that in his newsletter. In other news, he is now serving as President of Benton Development Group. He attended a meeting where he and other mayors and Board of Supervisor members and school superintendents approved the County Assessor’s certification. He did not attend the Benton County Landfill Commission meeting; however, City Attorney Jennifer Zahradnik was present. Mayor Fish was on a conference call with mayors throughout the state and he thought that was a very good meeting. He reported that they were told that the Census will be released on September 30. Due to this release date, precinct maps will not change for this election cycle and then will be redrawn after that. He also reported that 50% of the American Rescue Plan Act money will be dispersed immediately and 50% will be later obligated. He is hoping that the American Rescue Plan Act funds can be used for wells here in Belle Plaine.

Correspondence: The Mayor presented the ECICOG Express newsletter to the council for their information.

Old Business: None.

Resident Comments: None

Malcolm asked if the City has any word about upgrades to Highway 131 since it will be a detour for Highway 30 construction and the answer is no.

Schlesselman asked about owner-occupied homes that are recommended to be razed. Will the City work with these people? The answer is yes.

Motion by Landuyt to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Malcolm. On roll call, all voted aye. Meeting adjourned at 8:01 p.m.

Dave Fish, Mayor

Attest: Jacki McDermott, City Clerk

Transcribed by the City Clerk subject to Council approval

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