Council Meeting Minutes 1-16-17


January 16, 2017

     The City Council of the City of Fayette, Iowa, met Monday, January 16, 2017 at 7:31pm in the Fayette City Hall pursuant to law and rules of said council, Mayor Wenthe presiding.

     Roll call: Present - Council members Larson, Kragnes (7:35pm), Nefzger, Wulfekuhle. Absent – Sandhagen.

     Moved Nefzger, seconded Wulfekuhle, to approve the consent agenda consisting of the regular meeting minutes of 1/3/17, claims list of 1/4/17 – 1/16/17, the November 2016 Treasurer’s/Clerk’s Report & Budget Report, and the renewal of a native wine permit for Touch of Elegance. Roll call, all ayes, carried.

     Treasurer's Balance for Fund Accounts as of November 30, 2016: General $286,507.11; Streets $204,370.76; Debt Service ($2,087.33); Water Utility $321,921.69; Water T&A $25,479.07; Sewer Utility $233,495.06; Landfill/Recycling $119.61; Yard Waste $11,266.67; Bolger Fund $180,449.71; TIF $42,413.76; Local Option Tax $41,234.69; Storm Water $7,327.78; Downtown Project ($26,951.94); Franchise Fees $42,994.56. November Receipts by Fund: General $30,610.27; Streets $15,046.47; Debt Service $700.63; Water Utility $2,873.56; Water T&A $50; Sewer Utility $3,214.65; LF/Recycling $661.42; Yard Waste $124; Bolger $50; TIF $262; Local Option $11,962.92; Storm Water $113.48; Franchise Fees $4,474.11. Total Receipts $70,143.51. November Disbursements by Fund: General $37,182.90; Streets $6,345.31; Debt Service $21,696.19; Water Utility $1,764.29; Water T&A $523.84; Sewer Utility $21,542.23; LF/Recycling $32.00; Bolger $2,050; TIF $14,565.32; Downtown Project $292.50. Total Disbursements: $105,994.58. Investments: $1,285,113. Bank Balance $2,653,654.20. Balance with Library Funds $2,744,954.67.

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

     Upon Mayor Wenthe’s request, moved Larson, seconded Nefzger, to appoint Becki Wissmiller to the Recreation Board. All ayes, carried.

     Administrator/Clerk McGrane updated the council on the progress of implementing online payments for utility bills. There were a few more issues Convenient Payments and Jayhawk Utility Billing were correcting, but hopefully everything should be up and running in the near future.

    Police Chief Pisanti advised the council the police have been helping people as needed due to the icy conditions and would like to encourage people to stay off the roads in icy conditions. There was a tow-ban in Fayette County and the police department assisted people who slid off the roads in Fayette by providing them a ride to their Fayette homes or to a safe place in town.

     Moved Kragnes, seconded Nefzger, to discuss new business incentives. All ayes. Mayor Wenthe advised McGrane reached out to different cities and Upperexplorerland to provide some ideas on incentives that other cities are doing. Some ideas included TIF (Tax Increment Financing), Fayette’s downtown is a TIF district, tax abatements, revolving loan funds/low interest loans, chambers that offer incentives, and water and sewer incentives. Upperexplorerland also provided information on programs that can assist women, individuals with minority status, disabled veterans and individuals with disabilities in starting a small business in Iowa. Larson advised he spoke to some people in the community and the feedback he received was for the city to offer a low or no interest loan to assist new businesses in getting started. There was discussion about UIU giving grant money to new businesses in the past and most of those businesses who received the money are no longer here. After further discussion, Wenthe advised we do have the Bolger fund that we could use for a low interest loan, since it would be paid back. Wenthe advised when the council goes through the budget, we should set aside funds for new business incentives. It was a consensus to table the matter.

     Moved Kragnes, seconded Nefzger to approve the Fayette Community Library Board minutes from December 14, 2016. All ayes, carried.

     Moved Kragnes, seconded Wulfekuhle to approve the Recreation Board minutes from January 9, 2017. All ayes, carried.

     Moved Nefzger, seconded Kragnes to discuss and approve the Personnel Committee meeting minutes from January 12, 2017. Wenthe advised the Personnel Committee did address some of the auditor’s requests. All ayes to approve the minutes, carried.

     Moved Nefzger, seconded Kragnes, all ayes to have Zach Mannheimer with Iowa Business Growth provide a presentation via speaker phone. Mayor Wenthe met Mannheimer through Dennis Murdock, the CEO of Central Iowa Power Cooperative. Mannheimer was the founder and first executive director of the Des Moines Social Club, which is an old Firehouse that was renovated into an innovative arts and entertainment venue in Des Moines, Iowa. UIU asked Mannheimer to put together a concept of how the university could best work with the community to see some economic development and cultural/recreational growth. Iowa Business Growth has traditionally done 504 commercial lending as well as new market tax credit appropriations. The company has recently started creative place-making, which is geared specifically in how to take a community and build their economic and population output through cultural and entrepreneur ideas. Mannheimer’s focus is on rural communities in the state of Iowa and how to attract and retain young people to a community and build economic development. Mannheimer has recently done work or is currently working in the Iowa communities of Algona, Fort Dodge, Earlham, Council Bluffs, Dubuque and Mason City. He is in the process of looking for a few more projects to work on for 2017-2018. Dennis Murdock introduced Mannheimer to the city of Fayette and UIU. Mannheimer came up to Fayette a few months ago to tour UIU and the city of Fayette and discuss what the opportunities and challenges that the residents of Fayette are looking at as well as the students.  Mannheimer shared a few ideas of what he would address in Fayette including the recent closing of the restaurants in town and the vacant downtown lots. If UIU and/or Fayette would hire Iowa Business Growth, the end goals would be to determine how to get students more involved in downtown Fayette and vice versa, how do we create more student programming at UIU, how do we upgrade Fayette’s economic ability, how do we upgrade Fayette’s population growth, how do we make Fayette a strong community that is well positioned for the next 30 years, how do we make Fayette stand out, and how do we get more people to move or work in Fayette and start new businesses. They would start with a visioning process which would include getting the community engaged in ideas. They would then take the concepts and look at every possible variable, put them through a feasibility model to see if they can be economically feasible, can they be sustained and if so, what is the best thing to do and where could they find the capitol dollars to make it work. The city would then be provided a full comprehensive, actionable report, which would be a very specific plan of what to do. The community and UIU would need to work together and there would need to be a better partnership between both for it to be successful. Mannheimer mentioned that Fayette has one of the nicer Opera Houses in the state of Iowa and he feels it is not being utilized as much as it should be. After the presentation by Mannheimer, Mayor Wenthe told the council that Mannheimer presented a proposal to UIU, but it was mostly geared at UIU and not the community as a whole. The university informed Mannheimer they would want to include the community to make it more of a joint project, if they decided to go ahead with the proposal. The proposal was for $40,000, but Wenthe thought UIU would commit to half of the cost and there may be some other community members that may be interested in sponsoring some money towards this proposal as well. Wenthe would be willing to share the proposal with the council and the council can decide if they would be willing to pay for 25% of the cost. There was brief discussion and concerns if the proposal only included ideas. Wenthe advised the proposal would include part of the implementation of the project. Wenthe advised he will provide more information to the council so they can determine if it is something they would be interested in.

     Moved Kragnes, seconded Nefzger, all ayes to discuss bids for the 2017 Water Improvement System on Madison St. and Jones St. and a motion for a tentative award. The project was budgeted for in FY16 and again in FY17 and would include replacing a 2 inch water line on Madison St. that was originally intended to be used only for Waste Water Treatment, but since then service lines were run from houses along Jones St. and Madison St. to the 2 inch and/or a 4 inch water lines. A new 6 inch water line will replace the 2 inch and 4 inch water lines in this area as well as connect the water line from Madison St. to the Jones St. water line. The Iowa DNR requires a 6 inch line for replacing water mains. This will provide better water pressure to the houses in the area and allow the city to install a new fire hydrant. On January 12, 2017, five bids were opened and read by Jon Biederman of Fehr Graham Engineering & Environmental at Fayette City Hall. The estimate and bid totals were as follows: Engineer’s estimate - $128,646.25; Ray’s Excavation LLC of Edgewood, Iowa - $111,275.75; Skyline Construction Inc. of Decorah, Iowa - $119,062.99; Bacon Concrete LLC of Postville, Iowa - $169,879.40; Summers Enterprise Inc. of Masonville, Iowa - $170,851.55; and Tschiggfrie Excavating of Dubuque, Iowa - $222,788.55. After reviewing all the bids, Fehr Graham recommended the council award the construction contract for the project to Ray’s Excavating LLC per their proposal. There was some discussion with the council if blacktop or concrete would be used. McGrane advised he can get further information and that there could be change orders during the project if any changes were decided on by the council. Moved Kragnes, seconded Nefzger, to award the construction contract for the project to Ray’s Excavating LLC per their proposal, subject to receipt of the Iowa DNR Water Supply Construction Permit, all ayes, carried.

     Moved Kragnes, seconded Nefzger, to approve Resolution 2017-01: Resolution revising and updating the job description for the City Administrator/Clerk. On roll call, all ayes, carried.

     Moved Kragnes, seconded Wulfekuhle, to approve Resolution 2017-02: Resolution revising and updating the job description for the Chief of Police. Some of the suggested changes were based off of the last city audit. On roll call, all ayes, carried.  

     Moved Nefzger, seconded Wulfekuhle, to discuss Resolution 2017-03: Resolution amending the City Personnel Policy, Section 3.3 Vacation. Wenthe advised the council requested the vacation policy be looked at when the council was in the process of hiring City Administrator/Clerk McGrane. The personnel committee provided some direction on amending this section which is included in this Resolution. McGrane advised he thought of some other changes after he drafted this version which would make vacation fall on a fiscal year basis as recommended by the auditors. McGrane will make the revisions and present it at the next council meeting. The council discussed that the auditor had also pointed out the city needs to make sure they are following a fiscal year instead of calendar year for sick leave/personal leave. McGrane asked for recommendations on how the council would like to correct the issue. Larson suggested giving all employees up to twenty (20) hours of personal time, which is half of the forty (40) hours employees may earn each year for personal time, if they have earned the time, to use between now and June 30, 2017. Then on July 1, 2017, we enforce the current policy and continue to follow it on a fiscal year basis. McGrane advised he will put this item on the February 6th, 2017, agenda. Moved Kragnes to table the item until the suggestions discussed were updated in the resolution.

     Moved Nefzger, seconded Kragnes, to approve Resolution 2017-04: Resolution adding the current cash health compensation to the current salaries of the library director, assistant public works director and city maintenance worker. After brief discussion, three voted aye, Larson nay, motion carried.

     Moved Nefzger, seconded Kragnes, to discuss approving vacation carry-over from 2016 to 2017 for Linda Adams, Adam Hildebrand, Gerald Hildebrand and Rich Pisanti. This is another item that the auditor recommended.  Nefzger would like to see this passed, but adding that employees only carry-over up to two hundred (200) vacation hours and the city pays out the remainder of the vacation hours to the employees who have earned more than the two hundred (200) hours. Only the library director and the public works director would be paid out the remainder hours because they are the only two employees who have earned more than the two hundred (200) hours. Nefzger would also like to include that employees may no longer carry-over hours once they reach two hundred (200) hours. There was brief discussion on sick leave hours and other personnel policy items. Moved Nefzger, seconded Wulfekuhle, to approve the carry-over of vacation hours from 2016 to 2017, not to exceed a maximum of two hundred (200) vacation hours, for Linda Adams, Adam Hildebrand, Gerald Hildebrand and Rich Pisanti, and the city pays out the remainder of the vacation hours to the employees who have currently earned more than two hundred (200) hours. The employees may no longer carry-over vacation hours once they reach the maximum of two hundred (200) hours, unless they submit a letter to the City Administrator/Clerk to be placed on the next council agenda and provide a valid explanation of why they should be able to accumulate more than the maximum of two hundred (200) vacation hours. The council will then determine if the request is granted or denied. All ayes, carried.

   There being no further business, moved Nefzger, unanimous, to adjourn at 9:12pm.

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