Short agenda for city council

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By Shelia Tomkins

At its regular monthly meeting on May 2, the Guttenberg city council set a date to amend this year's budget, discussed the collective bargaining agreement and approved street closings for coming events.

Mayor Russ Loven led council members Steve Friedlein, Jane Parker, Virginia Saeugling, Fred Schaub and Austin Greve through the evening's agenda. Also present were City Manager Mary Willett and City Attorney Michael Schuster.

The council set Monday, May 23, at 6 p.m., for a public hearing to amend the budget for the current fiscal year. 

Consent agenda

The council removed two items from the consent agenda for further discussion and consideration.

City Manager Mary Willett requested $200 reimbursement of  her cost to take a lifeguard certification course. She told the council that she took the course in order to serve at the pool when student lifeguards return to school in the fall. After discussion, Councilman Friedlein moved to approve the request, but the motion died for lack of a second.

The second item removed from the consent agenda was approval of the collective bargaining agreement with city union workers. Union member Debbie Eulberg was present and spoke about the the need to approve the proposed agreement prior to the first pay period of the new contract year. Discussion was held on job titles, vacation pay and wording, and other language clarifications. The council voted to approve the contract with the addendum to be added covering discussion topics. 

Approved as part of routine consent agenda items were:

Christopher Schoen was appointed to the Historical Preservation Commission. 

Several requests from the Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce were approved: the parade route for Stars and Stripes Day in July and the use of the park for games and activities; the use of the 400 block of the park in downtown Guttenberg for Farmers Market on Saturday mornings; and street closings for Germanfest in September. 

Solid waste collection licenses were approved for Waste Management, Bi-County Disposal, Hawkeye Sanitation and Kluesner Sanitation. 

Other business

In the time set aside for comments from the public on items other than those on the agenda, Kristi Hager of Waukon spoke to the council about her candidacy for Iowa House District 56. Resident Mike Hefel spoke and commended the new restaurants in the community for opening with "no city help." He also displayed photos of riverbank work that he said was done under the direction of the city manager, and told the council that he asked the city manager three times if it was going to be cleaned up. He offered to help with clean up.

  The council okayed a resolution approving a settlement agreement with the IRS related to an overpayment of a federal subsidy to Guttenberg Municipal Hospital.

Karen Riser and Lori Wallace of Umbrella Arts presented plans for a proposed contest this summer for painted fire hydrants. The council approved the request. (See story elsewhere in this issue.)

Jerri McGuine spoke to the council on behalf of Moxies and Dam Bar and received approval for street closings for a Romper Room ride on June 18 and a Veteran's Ride on July 9. 

Discussion was held on the Clayton County Brownfield Redevelopment program that addresses  nuisance properties in the community. The City received a letter from Clayton County Development asking for commitment to the program as well as willingness to invest funds if necessary. City Manager Willett expressed concern about commiting unspecified funds  that are not part of the city budget. The council voted to continue to participate in the program but declined to make a financial commitment.

Two properties on Great River Road were waived from mandatory connection to the Guttenberg water system due to issues with topography and bedrock. 

Discussion was held on bids for an updated phone system for city offices and departments. The matter was tabled pending answers to questions about the suitability of existing wiring.  

Fire Chief Jim Cunningham, and Police Chief George Morteo were on hand to present their monthly reports. Jim Zerbe, marina manager, gave an informal report.

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