Belle Plaine, Iowa
February 2, 2022
The Belle Plaine City Council met on February 2, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. at the Belle Plaine Community Center to allow for social distancing, with Mayor Dave Fish presiding. Present: Mitch Malcolm, Mary Pech, Judy Schlesselman, Garrett Landuyt and Lyle Morrow. Also present: City Administrator Stephen Beck, City Clerk Sandy Walton, and Assistant City Clerk Ashly Parizek. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Motion by Morrow, seconded by Malcolm to approve the Consent Agenda, the Council Minutes of January 19, 2022, the receiving & filing of minutes from the January 25, 2022, Belle Plaine Community Library Board of Trustees meeting, and bills received. On roll call vote, all voted Aye, motion carried.
Resident Comments: Delbert & Bonnie Meeks of 1404 2nd Avenue inquired on status of nuisance properties. Randy and Tina Beal of 1003 9th Avenue were also in attendance inquiring on nuisance properties. All will be heard during that discussion item later in the meeting.
Lance Hinschberger, Parks & Recreation Director, presented a review of the prior pool and parks season. It is typical for a seasonal pool to operate at a loss; we are no exception. We are looking at different arrangements for the concession stand operation next year to get it back on track with appropriate revenue, expense & inventory controls. The pool needs a new heater as well as painting this coming spring. Both are expensive maintenance/repair items that we have savings for. Many things were either repaired or replaced after the derecho; disc golf baskets, fencing, lights, benches, picnic tables, and all parks received new signs. There were also 53 new trees planted in Franklin Park this fall. The Franklin Park Bathroom Fund is coming together with plans to start this project this year. Lance also gave a comparison of 2019 versus 2021 recreation participants. In comparing years there was an increase in participation by 114 kids! Council commended Lance on the great job that he is doing.
A review of fourteen nuisance properties was competed one-by-one. Steve will go over each with our lawyers, who were unable to attend this meeting. Specific action items were:
- 1111 15th Street – make sure lawyer sends letter regarding clean-up of rubble
- 1402 2nd Avenue – needs resolution prepared to send to court (include garage?)
- 1411 10th Avenue & 1306 6th Avenue – follow-up with Mike for 2nd inspections
- 1504 7th Avenue – Mayor to check on status & inquire about garages
Steve went over the proposed job description for an Equipment & Utility Operator. Motion by Malcolm, seconded by Landuyt to approve the basic job description and prepare to advertise for the position. On roll call vote, all voted aye, motion carried. An interview team will include two council members.
Motion by Morrow, seconded by Schlesselman to approve the third reading of Ordinance #22-2: an ordinance amending the code of ordinances of the City of Belle Plaine, Iowa, by amending provisions pertaining to solid waste collection. On roll call vote, all voted aye, motion carried. The ordinance will become law upon publication.
Motion by Landuyt, seconded by Pech to approve the third reading of Ordinance #22-3: an ordinance amending the code of ordinances of the City of Belle Plaine, Iowa, by amending provisions pertaining to sewer service charges. On roll call vote, all voted aye, motion carried. The ordinance will become law upon publication.
Motion by Pech, seconded by Landuyt to approve the third reading of Ordinance #22-4: an ordinance amending the code of ordinances of the City of Belle Plaine, Iowa, by amending provisions pertaining to stormwater drainage utility rates. On roll call vote, all voted aye, motion carried. The ordinance will become law upon publication.
Motion by Malcolm, seconded by Schlesselman to approve renewal of a Class C liquor license, with outdoor service & Sunday sales for the Belle Plaine Country Club at 1911 13th Avenue N., Belle Plaine, Iowa. On roll call vote, all voted aye, motion carried.
Dan Bussey of 809 21st Street requested that his application for free water/sewer service due to new construction be considered for 6 months of free water instead of 3 months since he has no sewer service. Motion by Morrow to approve, seconded by Pech. On roll call vote, Malcolm, Morrow, Pech and Schlesselman voted aye, Landuyt abstained. motion carried.
The Committee of the Whole took some time to bring up any topics they want for future committee discussion. A few items were mentioned:
- Housing 360 status: Are there other developers? Can we withdraw original resolution? Steve will inquire with lawyer.
- Herring Hotel status: Where are we at with SHPO on withdrawal of historic preservation status? Can we get help on application to withdraw from National Preservation Trust?
- Any other ideas should be sent to Mayor for him to include in future discussions.
The City Administrator, Stephen Beck, gave his report. He met with Chad Coburn from Poweshiek Water Association and received information on cost and feasibility for Belle Plaine to connect which does not appear to be affordable. He will be happy to help us any way he can with well and treatment needs and recommended we remain a private utility.
Steve has submitted an Upper Story Living Grant request for The Depot, with support from our legislators and other groups. He has also been in contact with Jack as he continues to work on a filtration system for Well #6. Billing for the trailer park demo has been sent to the school. It came in slightly under projection. He has also talked with Gage at KSZ about needed legal documentation.
John from Calhoun & Burns has inspected all the bridges/culverts in town (not just ones we are required to by law). We can now prioritize needs and have a record of current shape should there be any future disasters.
There was some discussion on whether we can and/or should embargo some of these to prevent truck traffic; especially once the Highway 21 detour kicks in. Steve will look to see what must be done to embargo a road.
Mayor Fish has been attending a lot of meetings recently. He has been elected the Vice-Chair of the Benton County Landfill Commission, nominated for Vice President of ECIGCOG, and has been re-elected President of Benton Development Group. He also attended the Board of Supervisors and Emergency Management meetings. He learned that they have tabled the proposed increase in dispatching charges. It will be revisited next July. Benton County has also bonded to get all the county’s ambulance, fire and police departments using the same communication equipment and expecting all cities to have a weather station in the future.
Correspondence: The 2021 ECICOG Year in Review was handed out. Belle Plaine’s main street was on the cover. The Poweshiek Water Association letter from Chad Coburn was given to council as well as a letter from the State Auditor declining to submit a proposal for auditing services. Lastly council was given a copy of the new BDG logo recently approved.
Old Business: none
Resident Comments: Mary Preston of 402 13th Street told the council that a picture of Preston’s Station will be painted on a building in Selma, Alabama! She is very excited that the story of Preston’s Station is stretching that far.
Motion by Schlesselman to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Malcolm. On roll call vote, all voted Aye. Meeting adjourned at 8:04 p.m.
Dave Fish, Mayor
Attest: Sandra Walton, City Clerk
Transcribed by the City Clerk subject to Council approval