April 19, 2021

Posted: April 16, 2021 | Updated: August 29, 2023





DATE OF MEETING:                                   APRIL 19, 2021








ACT ON THE CONSENT AGENDA: All items listed under the consent agenda will be enacted by one motion. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a request is made prior to the time council votes on the motion.


  1. Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of the Claims
  3. Approval of Minutes from April 5, 2021
  1. Approval of Applications for Tax Abatement under the Urban Revitalization Plan for:
    1. John & Amanda Schmitz
    2. Richard & Robyn Lane
    3. Ryan & Carrie McCarville


STAFF REPORTS: There may be action taken on each of the items listed below.


  1. Public Works
  2. Police
  3. Administration
  4. Committee Updates




BUSINESS:  There may be action taken on each of the items listed below.


  1. Daren Sikkink from WHKS to Present Proposed Plans for the 7th St SW and Hwy 9 Storm Sewer Project
  2. Review Quotes Received for the Grit Equipment Replacement Project and Recommendations from WHKS Engineer, Kevin Graves
  3. Motion to Accept the Quote for the Grit Cyclone and Classifier
  4. Joe Roenfeldt from Clapsaddle-Garber Associates to Discuss Proposed Airport Runway Renovation and Repair Project
  5. Resolution Authorizing the Submission of Applications for Iowa Airport Improvement Program and Certifying Eligibility Requirements
  6. Discuss Capital Improvement Planning
  7. Rhonda Vobr to Discuss Library-Bike Trail Project
  8. Motion to Reclassify LOST Funds for Library Elevator Door Replacement Project
  9. Resolution Approving and Authorizing Amendment to Loan and Disbursement Agreement by and between the City of Cresco and the Iowa Finance Authority, and Authorizing and Providing for the Reissuance of the Sewer Revenue Capital Loan Note, Series 2011 (Rate Reset)
  10. Set Public Hearing for Rezoning Property from M-1 to C-2
  11. Resolution Approving and Adopting Policies for the City of Cresco
    1. Procurement Policy
    2. Personally Identifiable Information Policy
    3. Fraud Reporting Policy
  12. Discuss Potential Utility Rate Increases
  13. Discuss the Tax Abatement Program under the Urban Revitalization Plan
  14. Discuss Issues Regarding COVID-19 Pandemic






Mayor Bohle called the Cresco City Council meeting to order on April 19, 2021, at 5:30 pm. Council Members Brenno, McConnell, Fortune, Bouska, and Carman were present. No council members were absent.

Bouska made the motion to approve the consent agenda which included approval of the: agenda; claims; minutes from April 5, 2021 meeting; applications for Tax Abatement under the Urban Revitalization Plan for: John & Amanda Schmitz, Richard & Robyn Lane, and Ryan & Carrie McCarville. Carman seconded and it passed all ayes.

Public Works Director Widell reported: (a) Dixon Engineering will inspect the big water tower April 21st. It should take roughly 3 hours and will provide us a lot of pictures with their report; (b) the first yardwaste pick up was today; the next dates are May 3rd and 17th; June 3rd will be the final one until fall; (c) there has been a request to install a four-way stop sign at the intersection of 1st Ave E and 4th St E. RHS has also requested permission to temporarily allow parking on the south side of 1st Ave, which is where the bike trail runs, until they are able to get their parking lot done in July; (e) update on nuisance properties: one letter was turned over to the attorney last week due to no action taken and five other nuisance letters were sent to property owners; (f) last week CIT started cleaning our sanitary sewer mains per our contract. They are starting on the Southeast side of town for this year and, to reiterate the letter that was sent out, to make sure toilet lids are down and covered as well as covering floor drains and putting a weight on them until they are done in your area of town to avoid a potential mess in the basement. We had some unfortunate circumstances thus far and would like to avoid it in the future; (g) the Iowa DNR is renewing the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit. Notice has been posted and published for anyone wishing to comment on or object to the proposed issuance of this permit.

City Clerk Girolamo reported there are openings on all City Boards and Commissions with applications due May 31st.

Library Director Kay reported the Library Accreditation has been approved. The new carpet in the teen room will be installed soon. The Howard County Library Association will meet with the Supervisors to renew their contract. A presentation at the Theatre will be May 10th with “Abe Lincoln”. Shirts and bags will be sold to raise money for Library programming. She reported that she submitted her retirement letter to the Library Board with a tentative effective date of June 30, 2021 but will stay on until a replacement is hired.

Fortune reported that the Elvis presentation at the Theatre was a success with 83 attendees. Everyone wore masks and were socially distanced. There are several more live entertainment events planned in addition to showing all new movies at the Theatre.

Brenno reported the Park Board conducted interviews to fill the Fitness Center/Park Director position. Membership has increased a little bit. They are working on a roof maintenance agreement. The Engineers were at the Fitness Center for the HVAC study on Tuesday.

Mayor Bohle asked for comments from the audience and there were none.

Daren Sikkink from WHKS presented revised proposed plans for the 7th St SW Construction and Utility Installation Project. The proposed plan included storm sewer, watermain, sanitary sewer, and street replacement on 7th St SW from the H&S Motors property line to Hwy 9. The project would also include a new 36” storm sewer along Hwy 9 that would run parallel to the existing storm sewer. This would be big enough to handle the extra water, if in the future, the sinkhole storm sewers were rerouted here. The preliminary construction cost opinion is $905,000. Mr. Sikkink made the Council aware that there is a shortage of materials so it may be delayed if piping is not available. Brenno inquired whether a pipe could just be put in with additional drains and hook into the existing storm sewer. The existing storm sewer is already taking a lot of water from the east on Hwy 9 and therefore may not be able to handle additional drainage. This may require tearing up half of the street and would not address the sanitary sewer and watermain issues. Bouska stated that she feels a storm sewer utility should be set up to collect fees to address storm sewer issues. The Mayor expressed a concern that this would not address the sinkhole issue that needs to be done at some point.

Mr. Sikkink presented a memo from Kevin Graves, Engineer at WHKS, explaining the two proposals for replacement of the Grit Cyclone and Classifier and recommending accepting the quote from Lakeside. The quotes were $60,860 from Trillium Pumps USA Inc and $40,090 from Lakeside Equipment Corporation. The equipment will be ordered and WHKS will prepare the specs for the installation and will go out for quotes for the installation. Hopefully the installation will occur late this fall. Carman made the motion to accept the quote from Lakeside. Bouska seconded and it passed all ayes.

Matt Garber from Clapsaddle-Garber Associates discussed a proposed Airport Runway Renovation and Repair Project. The runway is in very poor condition with the joints disintegrating causing a lot of gravel and debris on the runway. The estimate for the proposed project is $350,000 and broken down into three segments. The drainage improvements would cost $130,000 with the City’s portion $19,500. The runway improvements would cost $145,000 with the City’s portion $29,000. The joint and crack sealing would cost $75,000 and is not eligible for any grant funding. They prepared a grant application from the Iowa DOT requesting $226,500 toward the project. Council inquired whether the whole project had to be done or could the joint and crack sealing be delayed. Mr. Garber thought it could be done later but stressed that it should be done soon before more damage is done. Council agreed to committing to the City’s share of the first two projects but delaying the joint and crack sealing. There was a question regarding how much the airport is used by City of Cresco residents. Carman commented that Avera has used it several times. The airport land rent from the last few years will pay for the first portion but Council stated that hangar rent needs to be increased to help cover additional costs. McConnell made the motion to approve the resolution authorizing the submission of applications for Iowa Airport Improvement Program and Certifying Eligibility Requirements but removing the City’s commitment to doing the joint sealing at this time. Carman seconded and it passed all ayes.

City Clerk Girolamo recommended to Council to invite Elizabeth Hanson to the next Council meeting to present a proposal for Capital Improvement Planning for the City. This would create a long-term plan for prioritizing large projects and capitalizing borrowing capacity and the debt levy. Council agreed to invite her to present the proposal.

Rhonda Vobr from the Cresco Public Library requested permission to install 22 sign posts along the bike trail from Accura to the city limits. The posts would each have a page from a children’s book and would allow children to walk from post to post reading a book. The Library and Howard County Extension would periodically change the books. Ms. Vobr is currently requesting funding from various agencies for the Storywalk project. She is working with Jeff Korsmo, Howard County Conservation, who will help install them and maintain them. Bouska made the motion to allow the installation of the posts along the bike trail. Brenno seconded and it passed all ayes.

Library Director Kay requested permission to reallocate her budgeted LOST funding to replace the two elevator doors at the Library. The doors are having issues opening and closing properly. Several of the budgeted projects are not happening this fiscal year due to COVID and other issues. Bouska made the motion to approve the replacement of the elevator doors funded by Local Option Sales Tax. Carman seconded and it passed all ayes.

Iowa Finance Authority has lowered the interest rate on the City’s Sewer Revenue Bond from 3% to 1.75%. This will save the City $19,375 in interest payments. Carman made the motion to approve the Resolution Approving and Authorizing Amendment to Loan and Disbursement Agreement by and between the City of Cresco and the Iowa Finance Authority, and Authorizing and Providing for the Reissuance of the Sewer Revenue Capital Loan Note, Series 2011 (Rate Reset). Fortune seconded and it passed all ayes.

Bouska made the motion to set the Public Hearing to rezone property from M-1 to C-2 on May 3, 2021. Brenno seconded and it passed all ayes.

Bouska made the motion to approve the Resolution Approving and Adopting Policies for the City of Cresco: Procurement Policy; Personally Identifiable Information Policy; Fraud Reporting Policy. Fortune seconded and it passed all ayes.

Girolamo discussed the utility rate analysis. Based on reduced water usage and the increasing cost of operations and upcoming infrastructure maintenance projects, the Council decided to increase the rates for water 6% and sewer 4% effective July 1, 2021. The Capital Improvement charge and Yardwaste charge will remain the same. A public hearing will be set in May and the Ordinance will be amended in June.

The City’s tax abatement plan under the Cresco Urban Revitalization Plan was discussed. Cresco’s plan is capped at tax abatement on the first $75,000 of value added for residential property because it is established by using the criteria related to economic development. If the City performed a study to determine if a substantial number of properties are blight or historical, the value could be increased. The Council is satisfied with the current criteria and cap but agreed to increase the tax abatement from three years to five years. Council will consider how to handle the tax abatement schedule for property with more than three dwellings. The current plan will expire December 31, 2021, unless it is amended, so it will be extended through 2026. The plan will be discussed again at a future council meeting.

Carman encouraged people to schedule their vaccination for the RHS drive-thru clinic at the Fairgrounds.

Carman moved to adjourn the Council Meeting at 7:26 pm. Brenno seconded and it passed all ayes. The next regular Cresco City Council meeting will be May 3, 2021, at 5:30 pm at Cresco City Hall.

Mayor: Mark Bohle
City Clerk: Michelle Elton