COUNCIL: Luzerne, January 6, 2022

CITY OF LUZERNE COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS THURSDAY- JANUARY 6, 2022

7:00 PM

The regular meeting of the Luzerne City Council was called to order by Mayor John Brandt, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Council members Jeani Brandt, Kyla Buttikofer, Kelly Kendall, Lorin Potter and Barbara Shields were present. The mayor and council members were all sworn in last month.

The mayor opened discussion on appointing a city clerk. Council discussion followed. Potter moved to reappoint Janice Kendall as the Luzerne City Clerk, seconded by Brandt. Roll call vote – Brandt aye, Buttikofer aye, Kendall abstained, Potter aye and Shields aye. The motion carried.

Kendall moved to approve the previous meeting minutes as read, seconded by Buttikofer. Roll call vote – Brandt aye, Buttikofer aye, Kendall aye, Potter aye, Shields aye, the motion carried.

Kendall moved to approve the bills as presented, seconded by Shields:

  • J & R Sanitation – December pickup $350.00
  • Poweshiek Water 37.00
  • USA Communications -19.72
  • Alliant Energy – meter $108.50, streetlights $302.64 410.14
  • Jan Kendall – 140 copies @ $.10, garbage stmts $5.11, 2 certified letters @ $3.75 26.61
  • Schulze Mowing – trimmed trees and vegetation 30.00
  • Kelly Kendall – 5.5 hrs. snow removal @ $15.00 82.50
  • U. S. Treasury- 944 total 426.87
  • IPERS- Jan Kendall 26.61
  • Jan Kendall- gross wages; $166.66, minus IPERS, SS & FICA 143.43
  • John Brandt- gross wages $100.00, minus SS & FICA 92.35
  • Benton County Auditor – municipal election cost 529.71

Roll call vote- Brandt aye, Buttikofer aye, Kendall aye, Potter aye, Shields aye. The motion carried.

The mayor opened discussion on nuisances. The mayor reported the van which was sitting in the owner’s backyard is now gone. The mayor also reported that Schulze Mowing trimmed the tree and the vegetation near the property line of the alley between East Iowa and Exchange Streets. Council discussion followed. Kendall moved to have the clerk send the owner both a certified letter and a letter regular mail to bill for the amount incurred with Schulze Mowing, giving the property owner ten days to pay the full amount, seconded by Potter. Roll call vote- Brandt aye, Buttikofer aye, Kendall aye, Potter aye, Shields aye. The motion carried. The mayor opened discussion on vehicles parked out into the alley during the recent snowfall, having made snow removal in that area difficult. Council discussion followed. Brandt moved to have the clerk contact the property owner to tell them to park their vehicles out of the alley, seconded by Potter. Roll call vote- Brandt aye, Buttikofer aye, Kendall aye, Potter aye, Shields aye. The motion carried.

The mayor opened discussion on uses for the American Rescue Plan funds. The clerk had talked to a representative from the Iowa League of Cities who suggested the city could use at least part of the funds to replace culverts. Council discussion followed. The mayor related he will contact Dan Hatch, who had helped with a previous culvert project, to get some input and pricing from him. Brandt suggested the council look into putting a new surface under the playground equipment. The clerk will check into the criterion of the ARPA stipulations to see whether playground underlayment would qualify and report to the council. The item will be put on the next agenda.

The mayor opened discussion on the city audit results and delegation of duties among the council members. The clerk reported Midwestone Bank only offers imaging for the front of canceled check and deposit slips, not the backs as recommended by the auditor. The clerk reported the auditor recommended the council check bank statements reconciled by the clerk, plus solid waste and recycling deposits and other duties. The clerk suggested the council rotate duties monthly. Council discussion followed. Potter moved to rotate the duties between Buttikofer, himself and Shields, seconded by Brandt. Roll call vote – Brandt aye, Buttikofer aye, Kendall aye, Potter aye, Shields aye. The motion carried. The clerk will create a resolution to reflect the delegation of duties and other procedures recommended by the auditor. The item will be put on the next agenda.

The mayor opened discussion on the 2022-23 budget and Maximum Property Tax Levy. The clerk asked the council if they have any program areas they see which needs to change from the current year. The clerk reported the Benton County Volunteer Program has requested their entity be included in Luzerne’s 2022-23 budget. Council discussion followed. Brandt moved to budget $200.00 for the Benton County Volunteer Program for the 2022-23 budget, seconded by Buttikofer. Roll call vote Brandt aye, Buttikofer aye, Kendall aye, Potter aye, Shields aye, the motion carried. More council discussion followed. Kendall moved to set the public hearing date for the Maximum Property Tax Levy for Thursday, February 3rd, 2022, at 7:00 PM,(our regular meeting) seconded by Potter. Roll call vote -Brandt aye, Buttikofer aye, Kendall aye, Potter aye, Shields aye. The motion carried.

The mayor opened discussion on 209 East Iowa Street’s mowing bill. The clerk reported the bill remains unpaid as of tonight’s meeting. She went on to relate that the city only sent a letter via regular mail, but just recently found out the property’s four lots are actually owned by two different entities , according to the Benton County Assessor’s website. The website also revealed the names of the contact person for each entity , not just a business address as was displayed before, so the city could now send certified letters to a person and make them more easily deliverable, if the council so chooses. Council discussion followed. Kendall moved to send two letters, one certified and the other regular mail to each of the two property owners of 209 Exchange Street, seconded by Shields. Roll call vote – Brandt aye, Buttikofer aye, Kendall aye, Potter aye, and Shields aye. The motion carried.

The mayor opened discussion on his appointment of a mayor pro-tempore. The mayor appointed Kendall, basing his decision on the knowledge that Kendall won the highest number of votes in the most recent election. Kendall accepted the appointment.

The mayor opened discussion on the appointment of the city attorney. Council discussion followed. Kendall moved to reappoint David Happel, and Buttikofer seconded the motion. Roll call vote- Brandt aye, Buttikofer aye, Kendall aye, Potter aye, and Shields aye. The motion carried.

The mayor opened discussion on the city’s investment policy. Council discussion followed. Potter moved to approve the investment plan, seconded by Shields. Roll call vote – Brandt aye, Buttikofer aye, Kendall aye, Potter aye, Shields aye. The motion carried.

The mayor opened discussion on L.L.Pelling’s bid for street repairs. The clerk related the materials portion of the bid are up slightly from last year. Council discussion followed. Potter moved to accept the bid, seconded by Kendall. Roll call vote- Brandt aye, Buttikofer aye, Kendall aye, Potter aye, Shields aye. The motion carried.

The fire chief was not present to be sworn in. The item will be on the next agenda.

The mayor opened discussion on action for a missing city code book. Council discussion followed. The consensus was that a copy will be produced.

Under further business, the mayor said he would donate some ice melt for the area in front of the south city hall door.

With no further business on the agenda, Kendall moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:00 PM, seconded by Brandt. Roll call vote, Brandt aye, Buttikofer aye, Kendall aye, Potter aye, Shields aye, the motion carried.

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