Council hears proposal for grant application

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By Shelia Tomkins

At the regular monthly meeting on June 13 the Guttenberg city council heard a presentation on a proposed grant project, listened to resident concerns on various topics and okayed the purchase of a new bucket truck.

Mayor Fred Schaub led council members Mandy Ludovissy, Austin Greve, Jane Parker, Steve Bahls and Michelle Geuder through the evening's agenda. City Manager Denise Schneider was also at the council table. 

Tracy Kregel and Kari Harbaugh from the Guttenberg hospital's Family Resource department spoke to the council regarding state funding which may be available through the Nonprofit Innovation Fund designed to meet increased demand for community resources. The two proposed submitting a grant application to construct a building that would contain childcare space, senior housing, and room for community services offices. The space being considered for the building are the empty lots south of the municipal building. After discussion, the council agreed to partner with the hospital and Family Resource Center to write the grant and to hold off on plans to create a parking lot directly south of the municipal building pending the outcome of the grant application.

The city manager reviewed the monthly project report from Veenstra & Kimm Inc. Preliminary plans for water system improvements are expected to be completed and ready for review within the month. Design is continuing on the storm sewer extension project. Preliminary plans for the Fifth Street overlay project are pending review by city staff. 

The city approved the purchase of a Utility Bucket Truck from Utility Sales and Service at a cost of $193,789.

After discussion, the council voted to have an  ordinance drafted for further consideration at next month's meeting that would change the golf cart operator age from 18 to 16.

The city has received a Community Development Block Grant - Covid 19 grant for approximately $50,000 to be used by the Family Resource Center for food assistance. The council adopted a set of policies compliant with the grant requirements. 

The council okayed repairs on a water line near Triangle Park in order for a sprinkler system to be installed there. 

Dr. Alicia Walke of River Town Family Dentistry presented figures regarding anticipated tax revenue from the building currently under construction along Highway 52. The council approved her request for a 50% Tax Increment Financing agreement from the city for a 10-year period.

A request from Matt McLane to purchase a parcel of city property behind Casey's General Store was tabled in order for the street superintendent to look at the area.

Rusty Meyer spoke to the council about placing speed cameras on Acre Street, citing concerns about the safety of children in the area. The council's consensus was to allow the camera company do a free survey to see if the system would be financially feasible. 

John Hess, representing the park board, told the council about his research on the background of three  historical items in Ingleside Park —  the Civil War-era cannon and two large stones bearing the date 1936. The council okayed installing signs at the three sites. He also presented a list of projects that the park board would like to have done if funding ever becomes available

Chamber of Commerce Director Brandie Tomkins spoke to the council, questioning the amount of the monthly payment that the Chamber has been receiving from the city this fiscal year, stating her belief that the city was underpaying what she thought was budgeted. After lengthy discussion, the council agreed that the total for the FY21-22 budget should equal the budgeted amount and that for FY22-23 the city will pay $34,000 to the Chamber.

An agenda item regarding bike racks was tabled pending a plan as to their location. 

Discussion was held on a request at last month's meeting to fix drainage on Broadway Street and improve the alley. The city would pay for street improvements and the remaining alley costs would be split among adjoining property owners. The project is contingent on property owners agreeing to share the cost.

The council agreed to a request from Umbrella Arts to cover the cost of a 30-ft. diameter concrete pad for the outdoor instrument project. The low bid was $10,688.

Discussion was held on various nuisance properties in the community with   updates from the mayor and city manager on progress made or lack thereof. An abatement notice will be sent to one of the property owners.

The council approved Ryan Jaster to fill the position of electrical superintendent. The city will advertise to fill the electrical assistant position he currently holds.

The council chose a design featuring a pilot wheel for the new limestone pillars at the intersection of Highway 52 and Schiller Street.

Business accelerator grants were approved for Cindy Dave (August and Alma's) and Jessie Eulberg and Joy Meyer (Roots)

The low bidder, Kluesner Construction,  was approved for street repairs in areas to be decided by the public works director and city manager.

Turtle crossing signs will be placed as more locations as recommended by the mayor.

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