DEWITT — Mayor Don Thiltgen reported on his recent trip to Washington, D.C., at the DeWitt City Council meeting this week.

Thiltgen noted there were so many entities looking for money, but that the trip was more about building relationships and communication networks, which was more important. The results of the trip would be seen at a later time, he said.

A request from resident Chris Keding to partially waive a $1,900 water bill at 1214 Sixth Ave. was discussed. Keding questioned the accuracy of the meter even though a pipe break which went undetected for an unknown amount of time had occurred. He said he did not believe that much water could run through the meter.

Councilwoman Peggy McAvan said this was similar to another recent incident where the bill had to be paid, but time was given without a late charge to pay the bill.

The council agreed to check the meter, but if it is correct, the bill would have to be paid over a12-month period. There have been several instances of pipes breaking this winter.

After a required public hearing, the council approved the plans and specifications for the 11th Street overlay project. The project includes milling and laying with asphalt 11h Street from Sixth Avenue to the Humeston Road as well as rebuilding water basins on this portion of road. This is the city’s “stimulus” project and is estimated to cost $218,000. DeWitt is eligible for up to $201,000 in federal funding for this federal project, which will be bid by the Iowa Department of Transportation on April 21 in Ames.

The council approved a contract with Eastern Iowa Excavation and Concrete of Cascade for the 17th Street/18th Avenue reconstruction work. The bid was $1,209,284, which was about 16 percent under the estimate. There were nine bidders on the project, which should begin in April. Though Eastern Iowa is a small company, it was recommended and the city’s engineer said it should be able to do the job.

Two professional services contracts with IIW Engineers and Surveyors of Dubuque were approved. The first is for the 11th Street water main and overlay with $2,000 for the concept statement and field investigation and $18,000 for the design and permitting services. The work has been completed to meet stimulus funding deadlines. Another contract for the 11th Street water main and overlay for services during construction was tabled because the paperwork had not been received in time for the meeting.

The second approved professional services contract with IIW was for the Silver Creek Extension project. The final design content bidding is for $25,250; the construction basic services is for $21,000; and the resident services during construction is estimated at $39,000 for hourly fees. Total cost is $85,250.

The council also discussed but did not take action on a professional services agreement for the design and development of the John Bloom sculptures to be placed in downtown DeWitt. The final design includes city and public input, a meeting of the artisan team in Galena, and custom and delivery of on-eighth maquettes which represent the final design. Total cost is $30,000 plus reimbursables.

The council agreed to relocate the light in the 500 block of Seventh Street for under $3,000. Removing the pavement had also been a discussed option but would cost about $3,000 more because IDOT would have required 80 percent reimbursement for the pavement. Though residents Dave Yegge and Lindy Ilg had indicated they would be willing to assume some of the cost, there was no commitment forthcoming, City Administrator Steve Lindner said. Councilman Kurt Ketelsen voted no.

The council briefly discussed expanding insurance overage at a cost of $220 per additional location in case of natural disaster or fire striking more than one city facility at the same time. Council decided to remain with current coverage of $100,000 for relocating during a rebuilding process.

The first reading of an ordinance amendment to the fire zone code for construction standards was approved. The city has changed to the 2006 International Code.

There will be a sewer committee meeting on March 30 to continue working on the inflow and infiltration storm sewer plans.