Marina rental agreement is council topic

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By Shelia Tomkins

At the regular monthly meeting on Sept. 12, the Guttenberg city council reviewed the new CV/Chamber director agreement and discussed marina slip rental rules.  

On hand for the meeting were Mayor Fred Schaub, councilmembers Michelle Geuder, Steve Bahls, Jane Parker, Austin Greve and Mandy Ludovissy. Assistant City Manager Jamie Blume attended in the absence of City Manager Denise Schneider.

City marina rules

A review of the rental agreement for boat slips in the south city marina was on the agenda at the request of council member Mandy Ludovissy, who at last month's meeting expressed dissatisfaction with the ban on fishing from the rental docks that appears in the current agreement form. "Does that need to be in there?" she asked. 

The topic first arose  when a boat owner renting a seasonal slip told the council last month that he was pulling his boat out of the marina due to incidents involving youngsters fishing from the docks and what he felt were threats made by an adult. Ludovissy re-stated her views from last month's meeting, saying, "I don't believe it is the city's job to stop people from enjoying our natural resources. I believe Guttenberg should advocate for its youth." 

Lengthy discussion followed. Regarding boat owners, Mayor Schaub said, "We are giving these people a secure place for their boats; it's like a storage building that is rented out." He compared it to the rental of any other city facility, such as the municipal building, for a private event. Police Chief Derek Chambers noted that there are other places to fish. He added, "It either needs to be allowed or it doesn't. It would be difficult to govern if times vary."  

Discussion topics included slip rental rules that prohibit chairs and other items obstructing the walkways; a concern that other slip renters would leave if incidents continued; the use of gates and signs, with some council members speaking against the use of gates; posting of rules; transient dock usage; stocking ponds along the highway for fishing, and possible compromise ideas. Chamber President Patty Schwarz and audience member Mike Landwehr also weighed in on the discussion.

After approximately a half hour, the mayor closed the discussion and the council took no action. 

Chamber/CV director

Brandie Tomkins, who was hired last month for the new Guttenberg Vitality/Chamber director position, spoke to the council. She reviewed some concerns she had with the position agreement and job description, including who has oversight of the position, what board manages it, termination procedures, time card verification, exclusive employment and mileage compensation. After discussion, it was decided that proposed changes be  prepared in writing for consideration at the October meeting.  

The council approved her request to attend a leadership conference in Carroll.

Dog park

Chamber/CV Director Tomkins also spoke to the council about plans for a proposed dog park at the old soccer field north of the football field. She said the project was the result of community survey feedback, and hopes are to obtain grants and conduct fundraising to pay for fencing. The council approved the use of the ground if funds are raised and fundraising plans. 

Another project that was the result of a  survey was to establish a community garden. Tomkins said there are plans to try out the idea next year.

Other business

The council passed a resolution to establish an Urban Renewal Area and an ordinance establishing taxes. A date was set to approve development agreements with Walke Properties, LLC (Rivertown Dentistry) and Klaes Enterprise LLC (Guttenberg Brewery) regarding TIF (Tax Increment Finance) payments in those areas.

Two representatives from Bard Materials addressed the council about plans for a new facility located at the site of the current business. They asked the city to supply the electrical transformer for the new facility, saying it is standard practice for utility companies to supply and own the transformers. Discussion was held on the cost of transformers and the time frame to receive equipment. Councilmember Bahls brought up the topic of voluntary annexation of the property. The council took no action  pending further discussion with the city manager.

The council reviewed a written engineer's report from Veenstra & Kimm, Inc., and decided to table a request to proceed with design work for a storm water run-off feature.    

An agenda item about "home occupations," an issue first discussed at last month's meeting, received no council attention, with the mayor saying, "I don't have anything, so let's just table it and move on."

The council okayed a list of items for a city auction.

The council okayed renewing Dockwa Marina Reservation Services. 

Ann Korcyk, representing Umbrella Arts, received council approval to have the city place the order for outdoor musical instruments, to be reimbursed by UA.

The mayor gave an update on actions or lack thereof taken by owners of nuisance properties. The council requested more information on the status of city actions and copies of letters sent.

The council took no action on a proposed ordinance that would prohibit the number of animals a resident can have. 

The council approved an ordinance discussed at last month's meeting pertaining to temporary storage containers.

Ordinances regarding ATV's and alcoholic beverage sales were passed in order to comply with new state laws. 

The council passed  a new ordinance that addresses construction site erosion and sediment control. Approval was given to contact a property owner regarding excavating city property without permission. 

A resolution opposing the proposed merger of the Canadian Pacific Railroad and the Kansas City Southern Railroad was okayed by council action, on the basis that the merger would increase train traffic. 

The council approved a refund to John Greve Jr. for a fee he paid to have a Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting that was later deemed to be unnecessary. 

Discussion was held on the riverwalk pedestrian and bicycle signs. The topic will be brought to the park board. and bicycle signs. The topic will be brought to the park board. 

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