City council tables food truck ordinance and pool change

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By Shelia Tomkins

The Guttenberg city council at its regular monthly meeting on  Monday, Oct. 6, again discussed revisions to an ordinance governing mobile food vendors, tabled a design change request for the new pool bathhouse, and approved the purchase of a new ambulance.

Mayor Bill Frommelt led councilmembers Jane Parker, Virginia Saeugling, Fred Schaub, Austin Greve and Mick Pierce through the evening’s agenda. Also on hand were City Manager Denise Schneider and City Attorney Michael Schuster.

Mobile food vendors

The council resumed discussion from previous meetings about updating the current city ordinance governing mobile food vendors. 

Mayor Frommelt shared input from business owner Beth Sadewasser, saying she was a proponent of allowing food trucks on River Park Drive, and her view that "the more activity, the more competition, the better it is." He also shared information from former resident Gary Olson and his experience with a successful food truck program in Indiana. 

Council member Mick Pierce spoke in favor of encouraging food trucks. "My idea is to get more people to come to town," he said.

  Business owners Mike Hefel and Richard Dlouhy voiced their opposition to the idea. "It's not fair competition," said Dlouhy. "I pay a lot of taxes, for electricity, a lot of bills. I employ kids in this city. It's going to hurt." 

"Making it an uneven playing field is what we are concerned about," said Hefel, who said he was opposed to allowing food trucks except during events such as GermanFest.  

As discussion continued, councilmember Parker moved to put the matter on hold for the time being, and the council unanimously concurred. 

Pool project

Follow-up discussion was held on a citizen request at last month's council meeting that plans for the new pool bathhouse be revised to include a family changing room that can be used by patrons of either gender who have caregivers. 

The city manager reported she received an estimate from Portzen Construction on the cost of the proposed change but  that she was unable to verify the $32,000-plus estimate prior to the council meeting. 

M.J. Smith, a member of the Wave of the Future committee, told the council that some preliminary donors had come forward, but that a firm cost was needed before moving forward on additional fund raising. 

The council voted to postpone any decision until the next meeting pending investigation of the total cost and results of additional fund-raising.

New ambulance

The council approved the purchase of a new ambulance at a  total cost of approximately $116,000 to replace a 17-year-old unit. The city manager said the cost would be shared by: $19,160 from the hospital for the cot, a $25,000 grant from Upper Mississippi River Gaming Commission and $56,000 from the city budget. The remaining balance of $17,394 was approved by the council.

Other business

Kylie Bolsinger was approved as a member of the Guttenberg fire department.

The council approved the financial report for the last fiscal year and an urban renewal report on Tax Increment Financing funds. 

The council approved a proposal from GovOffice Web Solutions to update the city's website to be more user friendly. The cost will be paid for on a three-year budget plan.

The council heard input on a resolution to sell an alley to Winegar Works located east of the business. Realtor Jean Green commented on the $10,000 appraised value of the alley, questioning the appraiser's comparisons to other properties, and noting that other city property had sold for less per square foot. It was the council's consensus to await an offer from Winegar Works.

An agenda item regarding disposal of an interest real estate by Doug and Cindy                                                 Davey was postponed until the November meeting.

The council took no action on a request for a perpetual easement from Kenneth and Margie Deutmeyer, awaiting either an offer from the Deutmeyers or a formal appraisal.

The council adopted an ordinance that will regulate development in a designated Bluff Protection Area.

Lori Wallace spoke to the council, representing a group that would like to place holiday decorations in the 400-500 block of South River Park Drive. The council voted to give 10 used city wreaths to the group, pending park board approval.

Jolene Jansen, program manager of the Clayton County Energy District, gave a presentation on the SolSmart program and other energy efficient   programs.  She gave an update on a program previously approved by the council to install energy efficient light bulbs and water aerators in rental properties in Guttenberg.  

The council approved a propoal from Midwest Business for a new copy machine for the city. The city manager said scanning documents helps reduce paper record storage.

A $36,120 bid from Kluesner Construction of Farley was accepted for asphalt work on South River Park Drive from Schiller Street south to Meuser Lumber. 

Discussion was held on building insurance for the Welcome Center.

Since the date of the next regular meeting falls on a holiday, the next monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

Pay requests totalling approximately $68,270 for work on the Garber Road bridge and $10,000 for the pool project were okayed. 

At the conclusion of the regular meeting agenda, the council went into closed session to discuss the acquisition of real estate. No action was taken following the return to open session.

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