Posted: March 18, 2022 | Updated: August 24, 2023
NOTICE AND CALL OF PUBLIC MEETING
GOVERNMENTAL BODY: THE CITY COUNCIL OF CRESCO, IOWA
DATE OF MEETING: MARCH 21, 2022
TIME AND PLACE OF MEETING: 5:30 P.M. CITY HALL, 130 N PARK PLACE
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: KRIENER, McCONNELL, 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 7, 2022
STAFF REPORTS: There may be action taken on each of the items listed below.
- Public Works
- Committee Updates
COMMENTS FROM AUDIENCE:
BUSINESS: There may be action taken on each of the items listed below.
- Motion to Set Public Hearing to Approve the Capital Improvement Plan (“CIP”)
- Resolution Authorizing Signers on Depository Accounts
- Resolution Authorizing the Mayor and City Clerk to Enter into a 28E Agreement with Howard County Business & Tourism
- Motion to Extend the Winter Adjustment for a Credit on Water and Sewer Bills for Customers Running Water to Prevent Service Lines from Freezing
- Discuss Request for City of Cresco Jackets for Public Works Department
- Discuss Proposal for Installation of Curb and Gutter on a Portion of the North Side of 5th Avenue
- Discuss Proposed Pickleball Project and Possible Motion to Proceed with City and Donor Committments
- Update on New Garbage and Recycling Carts in April or May
- Discuss Rate Increases for July 1, 2022
- Update on FrontDesk Users
CLOSED SESSION pursuant to Iowa Code 21.5 (1) (i)
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 MARCH 18, 2022.
Mayor Brenno called the Cresco City Council meeting to order on March 21, 2022, at 5:30 pm. Council Members Kriener, 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 March 7, 2022 meeting. Carman seconded and it passed all ayes.
Public Works Director Widell reported (a) Skyline repaired a watermain break last week between Casey’s driveway and Fisk’s; (b) Blazek’s hoped to finish the grit classifier project and to work with Mracek’s to get it online this week; (c) Street Department has started sweeping streets and will start fixing potholes soon.
Police Chief Ruroden reported they tested several candidates and narrowed it down to two interviews. They are doing reference checks and hope to make an offer this week. There was a Facebook post circulating concerning the Cresco Police Department, the United States Postal Service and a dog. This case is being reviewed and working with the attorney for advice. We are reviewing other city’s policies for pet ownership and responsibilities and may update our Code of Ordinances.
City Clerk Elton reported: (a) bids for the Airport Drainage Project are due March 31st and the public hearing to possibly award the contract will be April 4th; (b) Housing Rehab will be having Open Houses on the last two houses on March 25th and bids are due April 11th so we are hoping to get contractors to bid on those projects; (c) Howard County Community Foundation Grants were awarded for three of our six applications: $6,319 Theatre PA system and microphones, $4,000 Fire handheld radios, and $3,000 Police active shooter vests; (d) the February financial statements were included in the packet.
Fortune reported the Theatre sold 266 tickets for the Looney Lutherans event which was paid for by sponsors so the Theatre earned about $6,250. Several people from surrounding communities attended and were very impressed with the Theatre. April 24th the Luther Opera will be here with tickets costing only $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. Discovery Plus will be filming at our Theatre since it is “haunted”. This will bring a lot of attention to the Theatre and the City of Cresco as they will be here for several days.
Bouska reported the Regional Housing Authority ports are at nine, which the lower the number, the better for our region. Upper Explorerland will be moving their office from Postville to Decorah in April. The Howard County Housing Committee met but nothing to report.
McConnell reported the Park Board met and discussed the proposed pickleball courts. The school may now keep some of their fitness equipment so it may not be available to the Fitness Center. A committee was formed to work on the potential HVAC system/FC upgrade project.
Mayor Brenno asked for comments from the audience. Jason Passmore reported CIDC processed another revolving loan for Good Times. The annual Howard County Business & Tourism Banquet will feature Representative Ashley Hinson on May 5, 2022. April 11th will be the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Banquet with four inductees. The tickets are almost all sold out for the Dinner Theatre at Heritage Events Center on April 1st and 2nd. The Theatre will feature live shows “Johnny Cash” on April 2nd and “Elvis” on May 7th. Three Family Fun Nights are planned for this summer featuring the Fitness Center, new pickleball courts, and a reptile & amphibian portable zoo. These nights are provided for free family entertainment.
Carman made the motion to set the public hearing for April 4, 2022 to approve the Capital Improvement Plan (“CIP”) for 2022 – 2027. Bouska seconded and it passed all ayes.
Bouska made the motion to approve the resolution authorizing signers on depository accounts to change the signers to Michelle Elton and Nathan Widell. Carman seconded and it passed all ayes.
Jason Passmore explained Howard County Business & Tourism was created as the umbrella organization over the Cresco Industrial Development Corporation (“CIDC”), Cresco Chamber, and Howard County Economic Development Corporation (“HCEDC”). Funding comes from the two local banks, businesses, utilities, and organizations. All of these entities have the same purpose of advancing economic and community development and improving tourism in Cresco and Howard County. In 2021, $260,000 was loaned out in Revolving loan funds that created 13 new jobs and retained 24. Many grants were applied for and over $600,000 was awarded. Tourism has increased $106,000, or a 9% growth, in the last decade. A new housing loan fund will hopefully be established to help developers. McConnell made the motion to approve the resolution authorizing the Mayor and City Clerk to enter into a 28E Agreement with Howard County Business & Tourism. Carman seconded and it passed all ayes.
Bouska made a motion to extend the winter adjustment for a credit on water and sewer bills for customers running water to prevent service lines from freezing until April 20, 2022. Fortune seconded and it passed all ayes.
The public works employees requested the City purchase fluorescent, high-visibility sweatshirts with the City of Cresco logo and names imprinted. Council verified that employees will be expected to wear these reflective jackets and hoped that they would last more than one year with proper care. Carman made the motion to approve the purchase of 11 sweatshirts for public works employees with the logo and names for approximately $47 each. Bouska seconded and it passed all ayes.
BDM Developers proposed installing curb and gutter on the north side of 5th Avenue SW and BDM would pay half and the City would pay the other half for the length of the BDM property. There is only one other property owner and the City will approach them to see if they would like to voluntarily pay 50% to extend the curb and gutter all the way to 3rd Street SW. The estimated total cost of the project is about $23,000 and this proposal adheres to the City’s policy of assessing 50% of the cost of curb and gutter. Bouska made the motion to approve the proposal to install curb and gutter on the north side of 5th Avenue SW with BDM paying 50% of the cost for the extent of their property. McConnell seconded and it passed all ayes.
Elton reported the Pickleball Group has raised $80,000 in grants and pledges. They believe they will be able to raise more money and are awaiting a grant application for $25,000 from Wellmark. Currently donations are being collected by CRICCET. The estimated cost of the project is $105,000. If no City funds will be used, the project could all be done by CRICCET and not run through the City. If the City puts any money into the project, we would need to run the project through the City and follow the competitive quote requirements. Minimal engineering services would be needed. There will be additional lighting that will need to be added and possibly other unforeseen issues. There will also be maintenance expenses in the future to maintain the courts so any extra funds will be committed to pickleball maintenance. The Council, Park Board, and Pickleball Group will form a committee to oversee the project. McConnell made the motion to commit $30,000 of Local Option Sales Tax to the pickleball project and/or maintenance fund and proceed with the project as a City project. Bouska seconded and it passed all ayes.
Elton reported Hawkeye Sanitation has been receiving the new garbage and recycling carts. We are enclosing an insert with water bills this month explaining how to use them. Note that they will deliver the carts and put them in the spot they want you to put them on collection day. Price increases will take effect when all the carts are delivered so it may take a month or two.
Elton enclosed rate increase calculations to review for water and sewer rates. Council is considering to start charging a capital infrastructure charge for vacant buildings. The vacant lots and houses will expect the water and sewer to be available when they need it so they should be paying to maintain it until needed. This should encourage empty lots to be developed and vacant houses to be improved or replaced to increase the property tax values. Council will consider the details of who gets charged and how this can be accomplished. The sewer rate increase for Cresco Food Technologies will also need to be set by the rate ordinance because currently they have a discounted sewer rate due to the Industrial Agreement. Council requested that CFT attend an April meeting to address recent violations, sewer discharge problems, odor issues, and rate increase prior to renewing their Industrial Agreement.
Elton reported there are 344 active users on FrontDesk. We have 978 accounts that are set up to pay automatically. Upon converting to FrontDesk, customers need to verify their email address and the ones that didn’t are now converted back to getting mailed bills. We’d like to encourage more customers to utilize this service to have their water bills paid automatically and emailed as well as the ability to view their account details online.
Bouska made a motion to go into Closed Session pursuant to Iowa Code 21.5 (1) (i) to discuss personnel matters at 6:57 pm. Carman seconded and it passed all ayes.
Fortune made a motion to go back into Open Session at 8:45 pm. Bouska seconded and it passed all ayes. No formal action was taken during the closed session.
Carman moved to adjourn the Council Meeting at 8:46 pm. Kriener seconded and it passed all ayes. The next regular Cresco City Council meeting will be April 4, 2022, at 5:30 pm at Cresco City Hall.
Mayor: David J. Brenno
City Clerk: Michelle Elton