Posted: April 3, 2020 | Updated: September 11, 2023
ACNOTICE AND CALL OF PUBLIC ELECTRONIC MEETING
GOVERNMENTAL BODY: THE CITY COUNCIL OF CRESCO, IOWA
DATE OF MEETING: APRIL 6, 2020
TIME AND PLACE OF MEETING: 7:00 P.M. Join Hangouts Meet (see log-in below)
Note: Council Members will be utilizing Google Hangouts to attend the meeting remotely due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The public can attend by logging in to the meeting by computer via meet.google.com/wzf-xxcf-tks or by telephone: 1 413-340-2214 PIN: 246 206 980#
PUBLIC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT THE ABOVE MENTIONED
GOVERNMENTAL BODY WILL MEET AT THE DATE, TIME AND PLACE SET OUT ABOVE. THE TENTATIVE AGENDA FOR SAID MEETING IS AS FOLLOWS:
ROLL CALL: BRENNO, McCARVILLE, FORTUNE, BOUSKA, CARMAN
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.
- Approval of the Agenda
- Approval of the Claims
- Approval of Minutes from March 16, 2020
- Approval of Minutes from March 27, 2020 Special Meeting
- Approval of Tax Abatement under the Urban Revitalization Plan for Mark and Rebecca Bohle
STAFF REPORTS: There may be action taken on each of the items listed below.
- Public Works
- Committee Updates
BUSINESS: There may be action taken on each of the items listed below.
- Awarding of Hotel/Motel Tax Grants for Tourism Projects
- Set Public Hearing for Ordinance No. 483 Amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Cresco, Iowa, by Amending Provisions Pertaining to Water Rates
- First Reading of Ordinance No. 483 Amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Cresco, Iowa, by Amending Provisions Pertaining to Water Rates
- Discuss Sewer Rate Increase
- Set Public Hearing for Ordinance No. 484 Amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Cresco, Iowa, by Amending Provisions Pertaining to Sewer Service Charges
- First Reading of Ordinance No. 484 Amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Cresco, Iowa, by Amending Provisions Pertaining to Sewer Service Charges
- Resolution Authorizing Solutions, Inc to Create a VPN Connection to Allow Network Access for the Deputy Clerk and Utility Billing Clerk
- Discuss Donation Request for Howard County Community Foundation Disaster Recovery
- Update on Revolving Loan Fund Business Continuation Loans
- Discuss Issues Regarding COVID-19 Pandemic
COMMENTS FROM AUDIENCE:
THIS NOTICE IS GIVEN AT THE DIRECTION OF THE MAYOR PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 21, CODE OF IOWA AND THE LOCAL RULES OF SAID GOVERNMENTAL BODY. POSTED APRIL 3, 2020.
Mayor Bohle called the Cresco City Council meeting to order on April 6, 2020, at 7:00 pm via electronic means. Council Members Brenno, McCarville, Fortune, Bouska, and Carman were present. No council members were absent.
Mayor Bohle explained that due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, as to protect the employees, council members, and the public, the meeting is being held electronically. The log-in is available through meet.google.com/wzf-xxcf-tks or by telephone: 1 413-340-2214 PIN: 246 206 980#.
Bouska made the motion to approve the consent agenda which included approval of the: agenda; claims; minutes of the March 16 and March 27, 2020 meetings; tax abatement under the Urban Revitalization Plan for Mark and Rebecca Bohle. Carman seconded and it passed all ayes.
Public Works Director Freidhof reported: (a) effective today, we are mandating all City employees to wear a cloth mask when working out in the public; (b) predictions are that the COVID-19 outbreak will peak at the end of April or early May in our area; (c) transmission oil samples on our maintainer came back with elevated levels of copper, similar to the County’s maintainer’s tests. There is no way to predict if either maintainer will have transmission problems in the future so recommend proceeding with the purchase. We should be able to net about $20,000 by selling ours on consignment and purchase the County’s for $55,000; (d) signs and posts have been installed and the grant for the full cost should be received the beginning of May; (e) Street Department is busy with other street sign maintenance, tree work, sweeping streets, rocking alleys, and filling some potholes. It needs to warm up before doing most of the potholes; (f) we were awarded a $3,500 grant from Alliant Energy for planting trees. We were only one of 31 cities in the State to receive a grant this year. Quotes have been requested from a couple of nurseries and we are working on the tree planting list. Arbor Day is April 24th which will be a small event this year; (g) Sewer Department wants to reiterate only flush toilet paper. “Flushable” wipes and other items are still causing some issues, mainly in customers’ service lines. We are continually having to monitor the lift stations; (h) Water Department is repairing valves and will be flushing hydrants this week; (i) trying to decide how to replace concrete from watermain breaks. It will be difficult with only two people in the department. We want to keep the departments separated, so we may need to contract some work out; (j) water and wastewater employees are considered essential and have a special responsibility to maintain normal work schedules. Although COVID-19 has not been detected in water or wastewater to date, employees are still required to practice standard safety procedures; (k) the Iowa DNR has prioritized analysis for environmental compliance in this order (1) water supply acute MCL for bacteria, nitrite, and nitrate; (2) wastewater basic parameters for ammonia, BOD, CBOD, and TSS; (3) solid waste as time allows. Be assured our water and wastewater in Cresco, Iowa is being tested and is safe.
City Clerk Girolamo reported they have been busy dealing with COVID-19 issues and attending webinars. She is working on a budget amendment to, hopefully, present to Council at the next meeting.
All City Board and Commission meetings are cancelled this month.
Hotel/Motel Tax of $4,643.63 was received this quarter and five requests were made for $9,900. Concern was voiced whether the grants would be paid out if the event was cancelled. The Tourism grants are on a reimbursement basis. If the event is cancelled, the grant money would not be paid and would stay in the City’s Hotel/Motel Tax Fund. Brenno made the motion to approve the recommendation of the Cresco Tourism Advisory Committee and award grants to: Cresco Chamber/HCB&T for Cresco Annual Marketing $1,400; Cresco Area Ecumenical Choir for An Immigrants’ Christmas $350; Howard County Fair $1,890, Cresco Chamber Family Fun Nights $1,060. The Historical Society request for $1,200 of repairs to the Beadle Park Log Cabin was denied until the grant for the Kellow House project has been completed. McCarville seconded and it passed all ayes.
The consensus of the Council was to raise the water and sewer rates by 3% effective July 1, 2020 to meet the cost of rising operational expenses and for future projects and equipment. The minimum bill for water will increase 23 cents and sewer will increase 39 cents per month.
Brenno made the motion to set the Public Hearing for April 20, 2020 for Ordinance No. 483 amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Cresco, Iowa, by amending provisions pertaining to water rates. Bouska seconded and it passed all ayes.
Mayor Bohle performed the first reading of Ordinance No. 483 pertaining to water rates. Carman made the motion to approve the first reading. Bouska seconded and it passed all ayes.
Bouska made the motion to set the Public Hearing for April 20, 2020 for Ordinance No. 484 amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Cresco, Iowa, by amending provisions pertaining to sewer service charges. Brenno seconded and it passed all ayes.
Mayor Bohle performed the first reading of Ordinance No. 484 pertaining to sewer service charges. Carman made the motion to approve the first reading. Brenno seconded and it passed all ayes.
Carman made the motion to approve the resolution authorizing Solutions, Inc to create a VPN connection to allow network access for the Deputy Clerk and Utility Billing Clerk. Fortune seconded and it passed all ayes.
Discussion was held regarding the request for a donation to the Howard County Community Foundation Disaster Recovery Fund. This fund will be administered by the Cresco Special Needs Association, a local 501(c)(3) organization and an Advisory Committee from Howard County. Council feels this is a good cause but decided to wait until the April 20th meeting to commit to a donation amount. The Council will know by then how much the City is giving out through the RLF Business Continuation Loan Program.
Seven applications have been received for the RLF Business Continuation Loan Program from Cresco businesses. The deadline is Monday, April 13th at 9 am. Council will approve the loans at a special work session based on the committee’s recommendations.
Discussion was held on whether to keep full-time staff working until a shelter in place order is officially issued by Governor Reynolds. Girolamo is waiting for a response from the Iowa Workforce Development regarding unemployment claims impact on the City since the City is self-funded for unemployment. The employees that are working are busy with projects that can be done while closed to the public. Staff will continue to practice social distancing and avoid unnecessary contact with other departments. Determination of pay issues will be made if some employees are forced to stay home in the future after clarification is made on unemployment and using paid time off.
Mayor Bohle asked for comments from the audience. Library Director Kay reported the State Library Board has confirmed that the Governor’s closure of libraries today does allow library staff to continue working even though they are closed to the public. She explained that her and three staff members are weeding out old books; a project that needed to get done but is difficult when opened to the public. They are practicing social distancing and safety precautions.
Carman moved to adjourn at 7:40 pm. Brenno seconded and it passed all ayes. The next regular Cresco City Council meeting will be April 20, 2020, at 7:00 pm at Cresco City Hall unless an electronic meeting is deemed necessary. Telephone and log-in information will be made available for an electronic meeting.
Mayor Mark Bohle
City Clerk Michelle Girolamo