CITY OF LUZERNE COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS – THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2021
The regular meeting of the Luzerne City Council was called to order by Mayor John Brandt, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Council members Kelly Kendall, Patrick McLeod and Lorin Potter were present. Council member Barbara Shields was absent. Council member Dwight Glinsmann resigned his seat November 18, 2021. Also present was council member-
elect Kyla Buttikofer, and the following members of the Luzerne Volunteer Fire Department; John Roth, Mike Mason, Larry Lorenz, Dean Jensen, Brandon Pierce, and Brian Hawk.
Kendall moved to approve the previous meeting minutes as read, seconded by Potter. Roll call vote – Kendall aye, McLeod aye, Potter aye. The motion carried.
Potter moved to approve the bills as presented, seconded by McLeod.
- J & R Sanitation – November pick-up $350.00
- Poweshiek Water 42.00
- USA Communications – phone & internet -21.32
- Alliant Energy- meter $64.61, streetlights $304.89 369.50
- Jan Kendall- 75 copies at $.10, extra postage for election results $.20 7.70
- Benton County Solid Waste Commission- ¼ yr. landfill use 624.00
- Benton County Auditor- deputy wages 162.50
- Drahn Insurance-mayoral bonding 170.00
Roll call vote – Kendall aye, McLeod aye, Potter aye. The motion carried.
The mayor opened discussion on nuisances. The mayor reported there is a residence with excessive vegetation growing near an alley which could impede passage of the city snow equipment this winter. Council discussion followed. McLeod moved to send two letters, one regular mail and the other certified, to the property owner, giving them 10 days to abate the nuisance, seconded by Kendall. Roll call vote – Kendall aye, McLeod aye, Potter aye, the motion carried. The mayor next reported on the continuance of a nuisance which was partly abated in November. The van which was parked over the sidewalk last month has been moved to the property owner’s backyard, still without a visible license plate on it. Council discussion followed. Potter moved to send two letters, one regular mail and one certified, to the van owner, giving them 10 days to put license plates on it, or have the sheriff tag and remove the van, seconded by Kendall. Roll call vote – Kendall aye, McLeod aye, Potter aye. The motion carried.
The mayor opened discussion on uses for the American Rescue Plan funds. The mayor and council will continue to do research as to what they believe the best use of the funds will be. The item will be put on the next agenda.
The mayor opened discussion on adding to the existing certificate of deposit or making a new on. The clerk related the city has $10,000 that could be put into a CD instead of keeping it in a low interest savings account, which is where the money is currently. Council discussion followed. Potter moved to add the $10,000 to the existing CD, currently worth $5,201.19, seconded by Kendall. Roll call vote – Kendall aye, McLeod aye, Potter aye. The motion carried.
The mayor opened discussion on the report of the city audit results. The report states that the findings address issues such as a general lack of segregation of duties, the lack of reconciliations of utility billing, collections, and delinquent accounts, separately maintained
records by the fire department, no independent review of bank reconciliations, and variances on the annual Finance Report. The clerk related she will put together a schedule for the council members to rotate the supervision of the aforementioned duties and other details cited in the body of the report, as well as put together reports to show reconciliations in the area of solid waste and recycling. There will be a press release in the local newspaper and the body of the audit is available at http://auditor.iowa.gov/audit- reports. Council discussion followed. Potter moved to have the clerk keep track of her hours to see whether they increase now that there are more duties to perform according to the audit, seconded by McLeod. Roll call vote – Kendall aye, McLeod aye, Potter aye. The motion carried.
The clerk reported there has not yet been a payment made for the delinquent mowing bill. The item will be put on the next agenda.
The mayor opened discussion on 2022-23 budget. The clerk asked the council to consider any budget changes they believe are needed for the upcoming fiscal year. The item will be put on the next agenda.
The mayor welcomed the aforementioned fire fighters who were in attendance
to discuss the department’s portion of the auditor’s findings and recommendations. The mayor read aloud the auditor’s findings, which includes the department currently maintains bank accounts for activity separate from the city clerk’s accounting records, therefore resulting in those fund balances not being included in the city’s accounting records, budgets or annual financial reports. Her recommendation is that for better accountability, financial and budgetary control, the financial activity, and balances of all city accounts, including all of the fire department’s accounts, needs to be included in the city’s accounting records and reported by the department to the city council on a monthly basis. John Roth, the treasurer, related he will get budget numbers to the clerk by February1st, 2022.
The mayor opened discussion on the council vacancy created when Dwight Glinsmann resigned his seat on November 18, 2021, after being re-elected on November 2nd. The clerk reported the council has different options as how to fill the seat- either by appointment or special election. Council discussion followed. The clerk reported that according to the county auditor’s election report to the city, Jeani Brandt received the most write- in votes. More council discussion followed. Potter moved to appoint Jeani Brandt to fill the council seat vacancy, seconded by Kendall. Roll call vote- Kendall aye, McLeod aye, Potter aye. The motion carried. The clerk related Brandt, the rest of the newly elected council, and the mayor will be sworn in before the end of December.
Under further business, Kendall reported he will call Bauer Built Tire again since they haven’t come yet to fix the city tractor tires. The clerk reported the city’s Annual Financial Report for 2020-2021 has been submitted, having added what fire department information she had gathered from the bank statements the treasurer had given the city during that fiscal year.
With no further business on the agenda, Kendall moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 PM, seconded by McLeod. Roll call vote – Kendall aye, McLeod aye, Potter aye. The motion carried.