Council meeting minutes 2-17-15


February 17, 2015


     The City Council of the City of Fayette, Iowa, met Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fayette City Hall pursuant to law and rules of said council, Mayor Wenthe presiding.

     Roll call: Present- Council members Boberg, McGrane, Patrick, Sorensen. Absent: Nefzger.

     Prior to this meeting the city council held a work session to continue discussing a housing inspection program with Lori Brockway, UERPC. The council reviewed a draft document outlining what the inspections would cover and a letter that would be sent to property owners 30 days before their house would be inspected. The council agreed to start the inspections on homes rated by the County Assessor’s office as very poor and poor of which there are 15. After those are inspected, then the council will decide whether to do rental properties or the houses that are rated below normal. The inspection program will cover all houses in Fayette whether they are occupied or vacant. It was also agreed that the city would pay the initial $50 inspection fee that UERPC will charge per hour for doing the inspections. Lori will prepare a final draft of documents then an ordinance would have to be approved with three readings to put the program into effect.                

     Moved Sorensen, seconded Boberg, to approve the consent agenda consisting of the regular meeting minutes of 02/02/15, Claims List of 02/03–17/15, January 2015 Treasurer’s/Clerk’s Report and Budgetary Report. Roll call, all ayes, carried.

     Treasurer's Balance for Fund Accounts as of January 31, 2014: General $215,892.21; Streets $300,027.13; Debt Service ($732.41); Water Utility $208,297.95; Water T&A $19,536.01; Sewer Utility $309,243.41; CDBG Sewer ($556,074.76); Landfill/Recycling ($2,587.85); Yard Waste $11,804.93; Bolger Fund $201,213.44; TIF $53,921.79; Local Option Tax $64,252.72; CDBG Façade Grant ($86,120.32); Downtown Project ($1,457.12); Franchise Fees $8,704.68. January receipts by Fund: General $26,505.07; Streets $12,071.91; Debt Service $333.26; Water Utility $53,043; Water T&A $1,225; Sewer Utility $61,285.19; Lf/Recycling $13,165.74; Yard Waste $2,655.84; Bolger $1,178; TIF $193.64; Local Option $8,433.94; Franchise Fees $4,118.26. Total Receipts $184,208.85. January Disbursements by Fund: General $23,864.96; Streets $14,597.30; Water Utility $11,906.01; Water T&A $182.07; Sewer Utility $7,084.30; Sewer CDBG $19,331.90; LF/Recy $14,957.71; TIF $2,309.37; Downtown Project $1,323.40. Total Disbursements: $95,557.02. Investments: $1,257,084.94. Bank Balance $2,003,006.75. Balance with Library Funds $2,074,864.76.

     Moved McGrane, seconded Boberg, to approve the agenda as presented. All ayes, carried.    

     Mayor Wenthe reported that he had spoken to Gary Goodell on Feb. 9, 2015 about his property at 101 King Street. Wenthe told Gary that the council is considering taking legal action to take ownership of his property due to continued zoning and ordinance violations. Wenthe stated he was very clear with Gary that the city will move forward in this direction. Gary told Wenthe he would start cleaning up the property immediately. Wenthe told him that his fear was that even if he gets it cleaned up it will eventually become cluttered again, as it has in the past. Gary said when he gets it cleaned up he will sell it. Wenthe told him that was a good direction to move toward. Wenthe also told Gary that the council may decide to pursue the legal remedy regardless of any action he takes so the sooner he acts the better.

     Jeremiah White, Attorney from West Union, was present at the council meeting and informed everyone that the City of West Union took two of Gary’s properties where he was storing junk inside the houses and both yards were full of junk and junk vehicles full of stuff. Jeremiah said West Union took legal action against Gary by sending him a notice to clean up the property, issuing citations and then it went to court. The magistrate determines if the property is a nuisance. Section 657(A)10a in the Iowa Code covers abandoned property and if a house is deteriorated and not maintained then it can be deemed abandoned. Jeremiah said he has taken legal action against several houses in Randalia for the city under this code. Jeremiah said the City of West Union sold the properties with the junk inside that they obtained from Gary, after the city cleaned up the yards and got rid of the junk vehicles. The council agreed that they didn’t want to leave Gary without a home, but he has been given every opportunity to clean up his property and help was even offered, but he refused the free help. A recycling bin was arranged by neighbors to be placed on his property at no charge, but he didn’t use it much. It was agreed that Gary continues to ignore the city laws so something must be done.

     Moved Boberg, seconded Patrick, to have Attorney White start the legal process to petition for an abandoned property for Gary Goodell. All ayes, carried.

     Wenthe informed Attorney White that the city is going to be starting a housing inspection process and asked how empty houses used for storage could be handled. White said starting with an inspection will determine the condition and in our new housing code it should state that non-compliance will be a municipal infraction. He added that some of those houses would fall under the Iowa Code about abandoned properties too.

     Admin/Clerk Dennis reported that Floyd Alber gave a $1,000 donation to the city and didn’t specify the use for the donation. ~ The survey of 104 King property was completed and the Offer to Buy will be mailed to Don & Patsy Brattebo this week.

     Moved Patrick, seconded McGrane, to approve the City Admin/Clerk’s FY 2016 Budget Report and to set the public hearing for March 2, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall on the FY16 Budget Estimate. The full budget report is

Regular Meeting February 17, 2015 Page 2

available at City Hall and the Library. Estimated resources for FY 2016 will be $1,996,189. Estimated expenditures will be $1,901,282. Total tax asking will be $14.38 for FY16, which is 21 cents lower than FY15. All ayes, carried.

     Moved Patrick, seconded Sorensen, to introduce the advertisement for the police chief and the job description for discussion. All ayes. McGrane said he drafted a write-up that could be sent out and put on the city web site for prospective applicants that tell about the Fayette and explain the duties of the police chief. McGrane said we need to market ourselves. Wenthe asked McGrane to send his write-up to the police committee and Dennis for review. Patrick said he had a few corrections to the job description, so Wenthe asked him to send them to the police committee.

     Moved Sorensen, seconded Boberg, to introduce and approve the second reading of Ordinance #482 – Increasing sewer rates by three cents on all rate levels to keep up with inflation and for paying off the loan on the wastewater treatment facility and lagoon modifications project (amending Chapter 99.02 & Ordinance 465 from October 2009). The minimum sewer charge will increase from $44.09 to $59.09 per quarter. The rate increase will begin March 2015, which is billable in June 2015. On roll call, all ayes, second reading carried.        

     Moved Patrick, seconded McGrane, to introduce and approve the second reading of Ordinance #483: Increasing water rates by one and one half cents on all rate levels to keep up with inflation (amending Chapter 92.02 & Ordinance 469 from March 2011). The minimum water charge will increase from $30.51 to $38.01 per quarter. The rate increase will begin March 2015, which is billable in June 2015. On roll call, all ayes, second reading carried.

     Moved Patrick, seconded McGrane, to introduce Resolution 2015-07: Ambulance Service By-laws for discussion. All ayes to discuss. Sorensen suggested that something under the disciplinary process should be added so the medical director would be able to remove a service member so the director’s license wouldn’t be lost due to a mistake. Wenthe recommended referring the amendment to the by-laws to the Council Safety Committee and ask Roger Post, Crew Chief, to the meeting. The Ambulance Service meeting minutes of Feb. 4, 2015 weren’t approved either, since that meeting covered the change in the by-laws and continued membership of six inactive crew members.

  Moved Sorensen, seconded Patrick, to approve the Finance Committee meeting minutes of 02/04/15. All ayes, carried.

     Regarding Resolution 2015-05: Amending the City Personnel Policy concerning employee health insurance benefits, Mayor Wenthe said he would like to refer this to the Personnel Committee since the Iowa League of Cities said the Personnel Committee should review employee policy changes.

     Moved Patrick, seconded McGrane, to introduce Resolution 2015-06: Adopting the plans, specifications, form of contract and estimated cost for the Wastewater Treatment Facilities 2013 Contract “C” Lagoon Sludge Removal Project and setting the bid opening date as February 27, 2015 at 10:00 am in City Hall and setting the public hearing on the project for March 2, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall. On roll call, all ayes, carried.    

     There being no further business, moved Boberg, to adjourn at 8:30 pm. 

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