Council Meeting Minutes 7-15-19

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING

July 15, 2019

     The City Council of the City of Fayette, Iowa, met Monday, July 15, 2019, at 6pm in Fayette City Hall pursuant to law and rules of said council, Mayor Wenthe presiding.

     Roll call: Present - Council members Cowley, Larson, Tucker and Wulfekuhle. Absent – Nefzger.

     Moved Cowley, seconded Larson, to approve the consent agenda items consisting of the regular meeting minutes of 7/1/19 and the claims list of 7/2/19 – 7/15/19.  Roll call, all ayes, motion carried.

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

     This being the time and place published for a public hearing on the proposed grant of easement on property owned by the City of Fayette, Iowa, Mayor Wenthe opened the hearing and asked for comments.  There being no comments, Mayor Wenthe closed the hearing.  Moved Larson, seconded Cowley, to discuss Resolution 2019-13.  Jared and Diana Hildebrand would like to remove the existing deck and replace it with a new one, however it is built on city right-of-way.  Moved Tucker, seconded Wulfekuhle, to approve Resolution 2019-13: Directing a grant of easement on property owned by the City of Fayette, Iowa as described as the north twelve feet (N12’) of the west eighty-two feet (W82’) of that part of Madison Street lying adjacent to the south edge of the west 82 feet of lot 1, block 3, S. H. Robertson’s Addition to Fayette; all in the City of Fayette, Fayette County, Iowa.  Roll call, all ayes, carried.

     Upon the recommendations of the Fayette Community Library Board of Trustees and Mayor Wenthe, moved Larson, seconded Wulfekuhle, to appoint Marcia Andrews to the Fayette Community Library Board of Trustees to finish the term ending 6/30/2022.  All ayes, carried.  

     Administrator/Clerk McGrane informed the council that NEIA Community Action Corporation is now accepting applications for the new home that they are constructing on S. Main Street.  Electricity is now run to the room that will house the new server.  Access Systems will be reaching out this week to start gathering information for the new server and CAT6 wiring still needs to be run throughout the building. McGrane has the annual IMWCA audit on 7/17 and will be wrapping up the FY2019 financials, completing the four quarterly reports due this month, starting the debt report and street financial report and preparing for the FY2019 audit over the next month.  Mayor Wenthe and McGrane also informed the council that monthly utility billing is consuming quite a bit of time in City Hall.  McGrane showed the council that from March 2018 to June 2018, the part-time Deputy Clerk and himself worked an average of 31.4 hours per pay period (2 weeks) on the quarterly utility bills and administering the utility accounts.  From March 2019 to June 2019, when the city started monthly utility billing, the two part-time Deputy Clerks and himself worked an average of 73.2 hours per pay period on utility bills and administering the utility accounts.  McGrane worked 34 of the 73.2 hours.  McGrane shared that he has been working additional hours at the office to keep up with utility accounts and his other job duties, but he is still falling behind.  McGrane provided a few suggestions for the council to consider.  His suggestions included hiring a full-time Deputy Clerk to replace the two part-time Deputy Clerk positions, increase the two part-time Deputy Clerk’s hours from 25 hours per week (combined) to 50 hours per week (combined) or consider contracting an outside business or agency to complete some of the Administrator’s job duties.  Out of the three suggestions, McGrane recommended increasing the part-time Deputy Clerks hours to 50 hours per week (combined) because having two part-time Deputy Clerks has been working out well.  McGrane advised the extra hours for the part-time Deputy Clerks would give them more time to work on utility billing, administering utility accounts, work on additional job duties that they used to be able to do prior to monthly utility billing and to pass along information between their shifts.  If the city stays with two part-time Deputy Clerks, then the city would not have to provide employee health benefits to the Deputy Clerks.  McGrane will have the topic on a future council agenda for the council to discuss.

     Fayette Police Chief Davis updated the council on the National Night Out event scheduled for August. 

     Moved Larson, seconded Cowley, to discuss Ordinance 504.  The ordinance amends a portion of section 92.02 of water rates and section 99.02 of sewer service charges under Chapters 92 and 99 to increase the rates and fees.  In section 92.02, the monthly water rates will change from $12 (minimum bill) to $15 (minimum bill) for the first 150 cubic feet used per month and all over 151 cubic feet will change from $0.046 per cubic foot to $0.055 per cubic foot.  In section 99.02, the monthly sewer service charges will change from $18.45 (minimum bill) to $23 (minimum bill) for the first 150 cubic feet used per month and all over 151 cubic feet will change from $0.086 per cubic foot to $0.092 per cubic foot.  Moved Wulfekuhle, seconded Cowley, to approve the third and final reading of Ordinance 504.  Roll call, all ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Cowley, seconded Wulfekuhle, to discuss Resolution 2019-14.  The resolution changes the new home and new commercial construction incentive program from July 15, 2019 through December 31, 2020. The new construction incentives include a person or business may receive $10,000 after the completion and inspection of a new home or new business with an appraised value of $125,000 to $174,999, or they may receive $15,000 after the completion and inspection of a new home or new business with an appraised value of $175,000 or more, or they may receive $20,000 after the completion and inspection of a new home or new business with an appraised value of $175,000 or more constructed on land that required the demolition of a home or business of lesser value, or they may receive an annual rebate on city property taxes for three (3) years (up to $700 per year) after the completion and inspection of a new home or new business with an appraised value of $124,999 or under.  Only the first tree qualified new homes or new businesses constructed and inspected will receive the incentives per calendar year.  Property owners in the new Westfield Addition on Stone Man Court are required to pay a sewer connection fee of $1,000, per Chapter 100 of the City Code.  The new home or new business would also receive up to $150 off the water and sewer connection fees. Moved Cowley, seconded Larson, to adopt Resolution 2019-14.  Roll call, all ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Cowley, seconded Tucker, to discuss Ordinance 506.  The ordinance amends a portion of Chapters 92 and 99 to adjust the water and sewer infrastructure/administration fee.  McGrane shared more spreadsheets to the council that showed more examples of amounts if the city switched to a 1% or 2% fee per cubic foot, with a minimum of $3 and a maximum of $150 and $200 fee.  Currently the city is charging a $10 flat fee on every bill and some council members feel changing it to a percentage would make it fairer to the consumers.  McGrane advised if the council does not make a decision and pass an ordinance before the new rate increases take effect, then the minimum utility bills will increase from $50.69 per month to almost $60.  Moved Tucker, seconded Wulfekuhle, to approve the first reading of Ordinance 506, an ordinance that would amend a portion of Chapters 92 and 99 to adjust the water and sewer infrastructure/administration fee from a flat $10 fee per month, per account, to a 2% of total cubic feet used per month, per account, with a minimum charge of $3 per month and a maximum charge of $100 per month.  Roll call, Cowley, Tucker and Wulfekuhle – ayes, Larson – nay.  Motion carried.

     Moved Larson, seconded Cowley, to discuss adjusting the City Code to charge a higher rate for water for irrigation systems or non-consumption water usage.  Larson recommended the council take steps to double the water rate to water accounts used for irrigation systems or non-consumption water usage.  The council would like McGrane to provide more information at a future meeting that shows how many current accounts would fall in this category, their water usage and dollar figures if the rate was increased.  No action was taken.

     Moved Larson, seconded Tucker, to discuss partnering with Fayette County Economic Development and Tourism.   McGrane attended a meeting on 7/10/19 held by NE Iowa RC&D to discuss the new partnership and contract with the Fayette County Supervisors to work on Economic Development and Tourism in Fayette County.  McGrane shared a draft statement of purpose, goals and potential for partnership document from Mallory Hanson with the council.  The council requested McGrane reach out to Hanson to have her attend a future council meeting to provide more information before partnering.  No action was taken. 

     Moved Larson, seconded Cowley, to discuss the hiring process for the new City Maintenance Worker.  McGrane advised he has started advertising the open position on the city’s website, Facebook page, in the West Union/Area Shopper’s Guide and the West Union newspaper.  We will be accepting applications until July 31, 2019.  Wulfekuhle and Tucker agreed they would be willing to assist with the interviews and hiring process.  Tucker advised if Nefzger would like to assist, she would be willing step down and let Nefzger assist.

     Moved Larson, unanimous, to adjourn at 6:47pm.

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