Short agenda for city council

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By Shelia Tomkins

The Guttenberg city council at a short monthly meeting on May 10 heard a hospital update, granted requests from the Chamber of Commerce for summer events and made plans for a special meeting on May 22.

Mayor Russ Loven called the meeting to order with council members Austin Greve, Fred Schaub, Jane Parker, Virginia Saeugling and Steve Friedlein in attendance, along with Assistant City Manager Jamie Blume and City Attorney Michael Schuster.

Hospital task force update

Bill Allyn of the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital board task force recapped the activities of the board pertaining to potential new hospital partnerships. Since his last update to the city council in February, he reported that numerous meetings have been held to explore options, including meetings with regional representatives. "The issue we are having right now is that we have so much information to clarify," said Allyn. "We are currently clarifying several questions and concerns. We will keep all informed. We are still working on it very much."

Chamber requests

Emily Sadewasser, director of the Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce,  made several requests for summer activities. Council granted her request for the July 1 Stars and Stripes  parade route (same as last year) and also gave permission to use the park at that time for games, food, etc.  Council approval was given to use the park for the summer farmers market beginning May 20 in the 400 block of South River Park Drive.

In a park-related matter, councilman Friedlein inquired about the use of portable restrooms in the park during music in the park. Mayor Loven said last year the restrooms were moved due to neighborhood complaints. Friedlein said he was approached because some residents said they would like to see a restroom near the band shell due to the distance to public restrooms. The mayor said he would review the matter with  the park board. 

Other business

A public hearing to amend the budget was set for Monday, May 22, at 6 p.m.

The council adopted a resolution to waive a mandatory connection to the city water system for the Degnan Addition at the top of the north Guttenberg hill. Dave Tschantz spoke before the council on behalf of the residents and told of the connection difficulties and financial hardships that would result if the ordinance was enforced. The residents use a common well, and all are connected to the city sewer. The mayor recommended approval of the request and the council concurred.

The council okayed the purchase of an Automated External Defibrillator to replace equipment in one of the police vehicles. Chief George Morteo said the faulty   AED was purchased approximately 10-12 years ago with grant funds.

Two contract city employees were granted permisison for after-hours employment: Assistant City Manager Jamie Blume at the Dam Bar and Police Chief George Morteo to purchase a golf cart rental business.  

In monthly reports, Jim Zerbe, manager of the city marina, reported that the marina is up and going, and discussed ice damage to the docks that will be repaired by the manufacturer at the end of the season. 

Fire Chief Jim Cunningham and Police Chief Morteo were present to answer any questions on their written monthly reports.

Mayor Loven said he would like to have a work session at the May 22 meeting to discuss the future of the city manager position. "I would like to review pros and cons from full-time mayor to full-time city manager and anything in between and cite some things we need to do," he said.  

In consent agenda action, the council okayed a request from Nancy McClellan for an Alzheimer's Walk on Aug. 12 (no street closing), and an alley closing at St. John's Lutheran for Vacation Bible School.

The council accepted the resignation of Dorothy Wille from the Historical Preservation Commission.

Approval was given to routine solid waste license requests from Waste Management, Bi-County Disposal, Hawkeye Sanitation and Kluesner Sanitation.

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