Belle Plaine, Iowa
December 21, 2022
The Belle Plaine City Council met on December 21, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers with Mayor Dave Fish presiding. Present: Judy Schlesselman, Garrett Landuyt, Mary Pech, and Lyle Morrow. Mitch Malcolm was absent. Also present: City Administrator Stephen Beck, Assistant City Attorney Gage Kensler and City Clerk Sandy Walton. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Motion by Morrow, seconded by Landuyt to approve the Consent Agenda, Council Minutes of December 7, 2022, and bills received. On roll call vote, all voted aye, motion carried.
Resident Comments: None.
The public hearing was opened by Mayor Fish at 6:35 p.m. regarding the CDBG DR Application. It was confirmed that the notice of public hearing was published, and there were no comments received prior to the hearing. There were seven public in attendance. Tracey Achenbach, ECICOG, stated the following:
How the need for the proposed activity or project was identified. The City of Belle Plaine has determined that CDBG-DR funding assistance would be greatly beneficial in helping to create additional rental units in the community. The August 10, 2020, derecho storm impacted housing availability throughout Iowa, and more significantly in Benton County. This created even more pressure to create rental housing in the community.
How the proposed activity or project will be funded and the source of the funds. The construction of five rental housing units in Belle Plaine will be funded with $475,000 in CDBG-DR funds and private developer funds of an estimated $200,000.
The date the CDBG DR application will be submitted. The application will be submitted online no later than January 12, 2023, at 3:00 pm.
Amount of federal funds to be requested. The amount of federal funds to be requested is $475,000.
Estimated portion of federal funds that will benefit persons of low and moderate income. 60% of the funds will benefit households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income level.
Where the proposed activity or project will be. The proposed project activity will renovate the upper story and rear of the Moore Building, located at 712 12th St in Belle Plaine, Iowa.
Plans to minimize displacement of persons and businesses as a result of funded activities or projects. Due to the project being new construction, no displacement is anticipated to occur.
Plans to assist persons actually displaced. Any persons displaced as a result of the project will be asked to find housing that is Lead Safe in which to relocate. The developer will reimburse anyone displaced, as a result of the project, for any housing costs and expenses that exceed their current housing costs for a period of time, as required by federal regulations.
The nature of the proposed activity or project. The upper story and rear of the Moore Building will be completely renovated to create five rental units. Three of the five will be rented to low- to-moderate income households and all units will be marketed for the first four months to rent to households who were derecho-impacted.
Achenbach then opened discussion for the preparation of the Community Development and Housing Needs Assessment. Four needs for community development and housing for low-moderate income were identified: 1) Increased opportunity for rental units; 2) Owner-occupied housing rehabilitation; 3) Increased opportunity for home purchase; and 4) Support for more affordable housing through zoning, permitting and providing technical assistance. Four other needs, not specific to income level were identified: 1) Expanded owner-occupied and rental housing options for all in the community; 2) Increased opportunities for employment and housing through efficient and well-maintained infrastructure, in particular improved transportation and day care options; 3) Expanded opportunity for recreation activities; 4)Expansion of housing options as people age in the community. Planned activities identified were: 1) Apply for a CDBG DR application to increase housing options for renters; 2) Continue to prioritize street, park/recreation and public service improvements by continuing to identify roads and bridges in need of repair and restoration needs as a result of derecho damage, and routine maintenance needs; by developing a plan to identify water quality solutions; and by developing a plan to identify opportunities for innovative daycare solutions to support workforce; and by continuing to identify opportunities to expand recreation activities; 3) Continue with Phase 2 of the Downtown Master Plan and expansion of the upper story living opportunities in the Central Business District; 4) Update and review goals and identify other Capital Improvement Projects to establish or expand services enhancing public safety and ensuring services are provided at affordable rates for persons, especially those with low- to-moderate income.
Although Investor Brian Bock was unable to attend due to the weather, Benton Development Director Kate Robertson was in attendance. She reported that Mr. Bock has completed several projects recently in Shellsburg and Atkins, both in Benton County. She reported that Brian is very excited about working with Belle Plaine and she feels this is a great project.
The Public hearing was closed at 7:10 pm.
Motion by Pech, seconded by Schlesselman to approve Resolution 22-12-02; a resolution authorizing & directing ECICOG to submit an application and associated documents for the funding for the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Derecho Housing Program (CDBG DR) to the Iowa Economic Development Authority. On roll call vote, all voted aye, motion carried.
Motion by Morrow, seconded by Landuyt to approve Resolution 22-12-03; a resolution authorizing the Mayor to sign a service agreement with ECICOG for the CDBG DR Grant, if awarded. On roll call vote, all voted aye, motion carried.
Motion by Schlesselman, seconded by Pech to authorize documents including the City of Belle Plaine Fair Housing & Outreach Plan, the Minority Impact Statement, & Contractors Information Document.
The Annual Report from the Park and Recreation Director has been postponed until January.
Cori Tri was present to give a report from BPCDC. The Holiday Homecoming had a good turnout this year. Santa’s Workshop was a hit in the BPCDC Office with roughly 125 kids. She and the BPCDC board recently met with Mary Preston regarding plans for Preston’s Gas Station. She is a 4th generation Preston and is looking for ideas for funding sources. Cori also met with Steve Beck and the new owner of the old BP Bowl building. He is planning to rehabilitate the building and is working on several ideas for a business there. BPCDC is gearing up for their 2023 investment drive.
Council Person Landuyt mentioned that although he agreed that the Holiday Homecoming went well, he would like to see the city consider closing the street for the lighted parade and tree lighting festivities to improve the safety of the event.
Bruce Gapstur, Airport Manager, was present at the meeting. He gave a presentation on the airport capital improvement program. He had several handouts for council members to review and will attend one more meeting with plan recommendations and alternative options.
Jay Hamilton from the Public Works Department was present to recommend a possible machinery purchase with trade-in for the city. Motion by Landuyt, seconded by Morrow to approve the purchase of a skid loader with trade-in of the end loader with Titan Machinery, as well as the purchase of three attachments for the skid loader from Star Equipment. On roll call vote, all voted aye, motion carried. Jay also reported that the two public works trucks that we wanted to sell have been sold on GovDeals. The 1975 International brough $5,850 and the 1971 Chevy brought $2,900. He was very pleased with both sales. He is also working on another trade and purchase of needed equipment and will present pricing at a January meeting.
Motion by Schlesselman, seconded by Pech to approve a Business Incentive Grant (Commercial Exterior) for $3,832.92 & Area Acquisition Assistance Grant for $495.00 for Nettiannes at 802 12th Street, Belle Plaine, Iowa. On roll call vote, all voted aye, motion carried.
Housing inspection reports were reviewed with recommendations/comments as follows:
1306 6th Avenue – although most work on this property has been satisfactorily completed, there was some concern by the council regarding shoring for the sagging floor joists that has not been improved upon. The Council is requesting that the Home Inspector come or call to the next meeting to clarify his position.
1410 6th Avenue – this house was inspected by our Building Inspector and was deemed not habitable in its current condition. Motion by Morrow, seconded by Landuyt to have Chief Hudson placard the house and hand the case over to our lawyer to continue with court proceedings.
1111 15th Street – this owner has been contacted and has committed to the rubble from the demolished home being removed by the end of January 1, 2023. Steve spoke with her contractor who said the job should be finished by the first week in January. A follow-up letter was sent summarizing the conversation. The Council found this acceptable.
The City Treasurer’s Report, City Budget Report, and Solar Report for November were given to the Council for their information.
The City of Belle Plaine Budget Workshop has been set for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, January 9th, 2023, in the Belle Plaine Council Chambers at City Hall.
Committee of the Whole: Steve reported that the filter testing has wrapped up and was returned yesterday. He said he continues to provide information as it is requested from Veensta & Kimm but has nothing new to report regarding the water engineering report.
City Administrator, Steve Beck, reported that progress is being made in the closing down of Well #5. Power has been disconnected and he is working with Tom from Northway on additional steps. Our project along Minnow Creek is mostly complete. We are returning the rented excavator and will finish with our own equipment. Once the debris is all removed, we will begin the rip rap phase of the project. Starting in January, we will begin reading water meters during regular working hours (instead of evenings & weekends) with the current staff. Our first snow emergency of the season has been declared and will run through Friday. This will be a good test for our new snow removal plans. Steve also reported that he has submitted two 1st Appeals regarding some derecho road damage to FEMA.
Mayor Fish reported on meetings attended for the Benton Landfill and Benton Development. Fire Box on Main catered the Christmas Party for BDG and did a great job. Republic Services will come to our February meeting with a proposal for extending our existing contract with them. Council can accept the proposal or choose to send out bids.to other companies. Lastly, Dave reported that he gave presentations to two Senior Classes recently.
Old Business: None
Resident Comments: None
The council did not go into closed session; however, Gage had several updates.
The judgment against Buck Grawet and Virginia Smalley issued on 12/21/22 required them to immediately vacate the premises at 1402 2nd Avenue and gives them 90 days to abate the dangerous building nuisance or the city can do it and assess the property for an amount up to $6,500. Gage is working with Norgaard’s office on options for resolution in this matter. Options would be 1) they tear it down, 2) the City tears it down & assesses costs to the property, 3) they deed the property to the City and it becomes the City’s issue to deal with.
We finally have contact with the owner of 1502 6th Avenue. Gage asked the city council how they would like him to proceed. He was told to continue the process of taking it to court.
Tyann Smith was issued 3 citations regarding the dog incident. She pled guilty to two counts and the third was dropped with her paying court costs. Steve is to reach out to her to check on the status of the removal of her dog.
Initial filing has been submitted on the WRH case. Final proposals are due on Friday, 12/23. We expect results from the judge’s ruling early in January.
Motion by Landuyt, seconded by Morrow to adjourn the meeting. On roll call vote, all voted aye. The meeting was adjourned at 8:56 p.m.
Dave Fish, Mayor
Attest: Sandra Walton, City Clerk
Transcribed by the City Clerk subject to Council approval