Pool bonds are council topic

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By Shelia Tomkins

The Guttenberg city council at its regular monthly meeting on  Monday, Aug. 13, heard details on general obligation bond financing for the new pool, changed  park board seats from elected to appointed and heard a request to purchase vehicles from the Guttenberg Fire Department.

Mayor Bill Frommelt led councilmembers Mick Pierce, Austin Greve, Fred Schaub, Virginia Saeugling and Jane Parker through the agenda. City Manager Denise Schneider was also on hand.

Pool financing

Michael Hart of Northland Securities presented a finance plan for the issuance of general obligation bonds for the construction of the new municipal swimming pool. 

Earlier this year voters approved the issuance of bonds in an amount not to exceed $2.8 million to help finance the project. Bids will be opened later this month and will be reviewed before determining the amount to borrow. The bonds will be for a term of 20 years. Hart noted that the city has a strong credit rating. Plans call for the bonds to be sold on Sept. 10, in time to finance work that will start this fall. The general obligation bonds will be paid back by property taxes. 

Hart complimented the local fundraising effort. "You have done a remarkable job as a community supporting this project," he said. He said that after issuing the pool bonds, the city will have approximately $1 million in remaining debt capacity.

Fire Department request

Assistant Fire Chief Chad Esmann spoke to the council about the department's plan to replace two vehicles— its mini-pumper truck and the Suburban passenger vehicle.

He presented bids for two new trucks from Brown's Sales and Leasing, at a total cost of approximately $50,000 after trade-ins. Esmann proposed that the Guttenberg Firefighters Association pay for one truck and asked the city to pay for the other. In discussion that followed, the city manager said there is $10,000 in the city budget this year for truck replacement. The council approved allowing the department to use $10,000 toward replacement of the mini-pumper. 

Park board change

Following up on discussion at last month's meeting, the council approved an ordinance that changes park board positions from elected to appointed. Current members will remain on the board until their terms end. Mayor Frommelt noted that the change would have the park board "fall in line with the rest of boards and commissions for the city."  

Other business

Sara Pattison of Kaffee 1858 in downtown Guttenberg spoke to the council about food trucks. "I don't have anything against them," she said. "The thing I didn't appreciate is it is on Highway 52...where there are already 17 places to eat. My concern is how do you drive that traffic off Highway 52?" Pattison said she would rather see mobile food trucks in the downtown area to attract people and encourage pedestrian traffic. The council will discuss the matter at a meeting on Aug. 27.

A proposal from Shermco Industries to install a new metering point at the Alliant Energy substation off Acre Street was approved. Cost of the one-day installation was quoted at $26,845, and will be paid from the city's capital improvements fund.

Pay requests totaling approximately $98,500 were approved for engineering and construction work on the Garber Road bridge project.

Following a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Board, the council approved a request from Ken Deutmeyer to waive the right to review the final plat of the Deutmeyer subdivision off Highway 52 in north Guttenberg.

Discussion continued from last month's meeting on a request from Dennis Schlueter of Miner's Creek Campground to purchase property or an easement for land connecting two portions of his campground. It was the council's consensus to table the matter until the the Iowa DNR could be contacted.

Clayton Ridge Superintendent Shane Wahls received council approval for a change in daily street closing at the Guttenberg campus due to construction work. In the past the street in front of the high school has been closed twice a day as a bus loading zone. The council approved moving the zone north, from Pearl Street to Main Street until the end of November. 

A purchase and procurement policy required by FEMA was approved. Resolutions regarding the Iowa Great Places designation and the Enhance Iowa CAT grant were also okayed.

The city renewed its lease with the Iowa DNR for the Welcome Center building, currently used by the Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce.

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