Council meeting minutes 9-16-16


September 19, 2016

     The City Council of the City of Fayette, Iowa, met Monday, September 19, 2016 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 Larson, Kragnes, Wulfekuhle. Absent – Nefzger. Vacancy of one seat because Kris McGrane resigned after the September 6, 2016 meeting.

     Moved Kragnes, seconded Wulfekuhle, to approve the consent agenda consisting of the regular meeting minutes of 09/06/16, claims list of 9/07/16 – 9/19/16, the August 2016 Treasurer’s/Clerk’s Report & Budget Report, Annual Financial Report for FY16 and the renewal of a liquor license for Shiner’s Bar & Grill. Roll call, all ayes, carried.

     Treasurer's Balance for Fund Accounts as of August 31, 2016: General $169,130.87; Streets $178,050.84; Debt Service $13,639.99; Water Utility $285,615.06; Water T&A $24,184.35; Sewer Utility $440,550.26; CDBG Sewer ($199,638.91); Landfill/Recycling $265.50; Yard Waste $8,301.87; Bolger Fund $183,595.14; TIF $41,387.06; Local Option Tax $13,392.97; Storm Water $5,734.76; Downtown Project ($24,926.26); Franchise Fees $38,184.61. August Receipts by Fund: General $28,410.60; Streets $18,347.08; Water Utility $3,902.51; Water T&A $4,337.66; Sewer Utility $5,243.07; LF/Recycling $901.48; Yard Waste $184; Bolger $54; Local Option $6,696.48; Storm Water $141; Franchise Fees $2,981.42. Total Receipts $71,199.30. August Disbursements by Fund: General $36,030.67; Streets $7,402.15; Water Utility $5,142.54; Water T&A $800; Sewer Utility $27,221.65; Bolger $1,805. Total Disbursements: $78,402.01. Investments: $1,285,045.06. Bank Balance $2,462,513.17. Balance with Library Funds $2,552,879.37.

     Moved Kragnes, seconded Wulfekuhle, to approve the agenda as presented. All ayes to approve, carried.

     This being the time and place for a public hearing on the proposal to submit CDBG program grant applications to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), Mayor Wenthe opened the hearing. Wenthe stated the funds would be used to help pay for the 2017 Fayette Downtown & Water Street Infrastructure and Reconstruction Projects consisting of sewer & water main replacements and storm water drainage construction measures involving “green streets criteria”. The Mayor added that this isn’t our first effort to apply for this funding, so hopefully we would be successful this time. Mayor Wenthe then introduced Rachelle Howe, Director of Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission and she read the following “nine-points”:

(a.) The need was identified as the existing sanitary sewer lines were televised. The results have indicated cracks and holes throughout the pipe and deterioration at some of the service tees. There are also two sections of private sanitary sewers, one on each side of Water Street from Vine Street to King Street. These sections have been problematic causing several blockages and sanitary sewer backups into the homes.

     The condition of the water mains is unknown. The City reports that minimal repair work has been needed on the water main. However, the south block of Main Street has several leaking underground storage tanks (LUST) and contamination seems to be expanding. Contaminated soils have been known to cause deterioration of the rubber gasket joint material and replacement of water main with Nitrile Gaskets (gaskets that withstand effects of petroleum products) at this time would be appropriate to coincide with the replacement of the sanitary sewer line.

     The storm sewer would be replaced at the same time and the City will be exploring the use of green solutions that would affect the quality of the storm water runoff of Main Street. The storm sewer empties into the Volga River, which is only 1,300 feet from the farthest point of the proposed project and the Volga River State Park is just downstream of the City of Fayette.


(b.) The proposed project will be funded by CDBG Water/Sewer funds in the amount of $500,000 and by CDBG Community Facilities & Services funds in the amount of $500,000. The overall cost of the water/sewer project is estimated to be $2,195,642.50 and the overall cost for the storm water project is estimated to be $1,207,162.50, leaving the City of Fayette to cover the local match portion.

(c.) The CDBG Water/Sewer application will be submitted on or before January 1, 2017 to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). The CDBG community facility (which includes the storm water project) application will be submitted on or before January 1, 2017 to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA).

(d.) The requested amount is $500,000 from CDBG Water/Sewer and $500,000 from CDBG Community Facilities & Services.  

(e.) According to the 2014 HUD LMI numbers, 52.76% of the population in the City of Fayette is considered as low-and-moderate.

(f.) The project will be conducted downtown along South Main Street from approximately 200’ north of Water Street to Clark Street and along West Water Street from Highway 150 to Main Street, which is within the city limits of Fayette, located in Fayette County.

(g.) There will be no displacement of persons and businesses as a result of funded activities for the water/sewer project or the community facility project.

(h.) There are no plans to displace any persons.

(i.) The nature of the project is to assist the City of Fayette with the replacement of their water, sewer and storm sewer lines throughout the downtown.  

     City Administrator/Clerk explained about the various sources of revenue the city would utilize to fund the match for both grant applications, as noted in the following resolution. Director Howe explained that the IEDA have changed the process in which they are accepting applications. She said that instead of having one deadline, they would be having them quarterly. The first 25 applications are due January 1, 2017 and then the next round of 25 would be accepting in April, and so on. Howe said she plans to submit Fayette’s applications as soon as the acceptance period opens in October. She added that one of the reasons she thought Fayette wasn’t funded in previous applications was because the 2009 sewer project hadn’t been completed, but now it’s finished and there is a lot of debt from that project. There being no further comment, Mayor Wenthe closed the public hearing.

     Moved Kragnes, seconded Wulfekuhle, to approve Resolution 2016-12: Resolution authorizing the submission of a CDBG Water/Sewer application and a CDBG Community Facility & Services application to the Iowa Department of Economic Development Authority for the 2017 Downtown & Water Street Infrastructure Projects. On roll call, all ayes, carried.  

     Mayor Wenthe asked for approval to appoint Isaiah Ruckdashel and Mason Bantz as new members to the Fayette Fire Department, pending the out-come of their physicals. Moved Kragnes, seconded Larson, to appoint the two men to the fire department. All ayes, carried.

     Administrator/Clerk Dennis reported there would be a work session before the October 3, 2016 council meeting at 7 p.m. for the auditor to give his presentation of the FY2016 audit.

     Police Chief Pisanti reported it had been fairly quiet with only one burglary and two vehicle accidents in the past week.

     Moved Wulfekuhle, seconded Kragnes, to introduce for discussion a Big Rock Country Club update from Bill Dohrmann, Rich Patrick and Ron Ahrens and their request for a donation. All ayes to discuss. Dohrmann said he had contacted Doug Egeland about the roots in the tile lines and the condition of the sand traps. Egeland examined the back nine issues and estimated it would cost around $50,000 to make the improvements. Dohrmann requested that the city pay for this work by using funds from the back end of the Local Option Sales Tax and other city sources of revenue. He added that the equipment at the golf course needs to be upgraded, but that’s down the road. Patrick said the membership has declined over the past 15 years and they are trying to keep 18 holes in good shape. He added that they are looking into filing for 501©3 status so donations to the club can be tax deductible. Mayor Wenthe said in the meantime donations may be given through the city as tax deductible the auditor said. Kragnes asked if there was a plan with designs and a quote for the $50,000 and a timeline for the work? Dohrmann said Egeland had prepared that and he would get that information to the city. Kragnes also asked Dohrmann what other funding sources he had looked at besides donations and the city? Dohrmann said none. Wenthe & Howe suggested applying for funds through the Fayette County Community Foundation when they are taking grant applications. Ahrens said he visited with the banker about a loan for equipment and could get $90,000, but the club can’t afford more debt.

     Mayor Wenthe said we would need to have a Finance Committee meeting to discuss the request further, but he would like to see the dialog continued because he sees the golf course as an economic development tool for the city and that it is different than other non-profits.              

   Moved Kragnes, seconded Larson, to discuss the City Attorney’s opinion regarding landlord- council members voting on the proposed Rental Housing Ordinance. All ayes to discuss. Hofmeyer was present at the meeting and said the landlord-council persons would not be receiving direct financial benefit from the rental housing ordinance, therefore they are not disqualified from voting on the ordinance.

     Concerning the subject of updating the personnel policy to change the timeframe for new employees to use vacation policy and to update requirements for compensatory time to meet the new US Dept. of Labor overtime rules that take effect Dec. 1, 2016, Mayor Wenthe referred these matters to the Personnel Committee. Wenthe said he thinks the one-year anniversary of an employee is too long to wait to take vacation, which is stated in the city’s present policy.

     Chief Pisanti explained the reasoning behind Ordinance 491 – Amending Fayette City Code Chapter 50.13, by deleting the $1,000 maximum penalty for Failure to Abate. He said there is a house in town where no one has lived for ten years and if the owner doesn’t comply with cleaning up the place the most he can be fined is $1,000 and then the place never gets cleaned up. He added that this ordinance removes the limit so the city has more authority to get these nuisance places cleaned up or junk vehicles removed. Attorney Hofmeyer agreed that this was a good idea and had drafted the ordinance. Moved Wulfekuhle, to approve the first reading of Ordinance 491, but the motion died for lack of a second.

     Regarding the appointment of someone to fill the vacancy of Kris McGrane on the city council, Mayor Wenthe said he would appoint a replacement at the October 3, 2016 council meeting. Larson suggested asking Randy Sandhagen since he was the other person interested in a council seat. Kragnes agreed that the council had set a precedent by taking the next in line from the previous special election. Admin/Clerk Dennis explained that she had asked Fayette County Auditor, Lori Moellers, about a special election being on the general election ballot and was told that it’s past the August 31st deadline. She added that because of the timeline of filling a council vacancy in 60 days from the time the seat was vacant, we couldn’t have a special election because Moellers said by law there can be no elections three Tuesdays before or after a general election. Wenthe said he would ask Sandhagen, then if he wasn’t interested we would solicit anyone interested to contact the city.

   There being no further business, moved Kragnes, unanimous, to adjourn at 8:24 pm.

There is no place like home. And there is no place like Fayette.

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