DEWITT — Mike Osmun, representing the DeWitt-area veterans, updated the DeWitt City Council on the veterans’ memorial on Northridge Road near Elmwood Cemetery at its Monday meeting.
The memorial project began in 2008 and has progressed through community support. Installation of six granite service monuments is expected soon and a 30-ton center piece, which will be shipped from South Dakota in 26 pieces and installed with a crane, should arrive at the end of April or in May.
Osmun said he was not asking for any financial support from the city, but the veterans’ group would like permission to construct a storage building to house equipment at the south end of the old road ahead of the dead-end chevrons. Parking bollards will be put in to protect it from being hit. Osman also asked that building permit fees be waived.
The council approved construction of a building no larger than 18 feet by 20 feet and the group will continue working on the project with the oversight of building official Giles Looney. Councilman Verlyn Scheckel abstained from the vote.
The council authorized Public Works Director Matt Proctor to contract for maintenance street work up to $200,000. Road use tax revenue and the 1 percent local option sales tax fund street projects. The Streets and Alleys Committee reviewed the patch and overlay list and agreed to about $90,000 of work. The usual amount spent is $100,000, City Administrator Steve Lindner said.
Potential crack sealing of 11th Street, Sixth Avenue, Maynard Way and a few other concrete projects also are foreseen. Proctor said some bids on the projects have come in but none have yet been accepted.
Another step in issuing $6,495,000 in general obligation bonds was approved. The bonds include recalling 2010 bonds and saving $23,000 over two years as well as paying for the new police station and the First Street reconstruction project. The First Street project will begin May 4 on the east side of the street, Lindner said.
The first change order for the Skeffington Trail Bridge was presented. The order is for an upgrade on the coating for the bridge guardrails from epoxy paint to a galvanized coating which will cut down on maintenance. The cost of $2,500 and a completion date of July 18 were approved.
In budgeted 2015-16 purchases, the council approved a Vermeer BC 1000 XL chipper for $29,745 to aid in extra tree cutting due to the emerald ash borer disease and a water department order for a 2015 Dodge 4x4 at $26,680 so that it will be delivered in July.
Also agreed to by consensus but not budgeted for was purchase of a 2011 Ford Explorer with 11,00 miles from the Long Grove Police Department. It will replace a Ford Taurus used by the police captain. An initial $12,000 bid was rejected and Police Chief David Porter asked for authority to make another reasonable bid. Though not budgeted, Porter said $30,000 had been budgeted for police vehicles in 2015-16 and he believes this and another used vehicle can both be purchased. Formal approval will be given at the next council meeting.
A $3,500 request from Parks and Recreation for outdoor speakers at the DeWitt Aquatic Center was approved. The current speakers are from 1999. Leftover budgeted funds for a climbing wall will cover the cost.
John McGee was sworn in as the new police department patrol officer. He has graduated from the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.
In personnel matters, the council approved changing the sewer seasonal part-time position at the water pollution control plant to regular part time. The position would then be 20 hours a week for 52 weeks but would not change the amount of hours worked and would include some benefits. Also non-union personnel tuition reimbursement was increased to $4,800 per fiscal year, which would match the amount set in two union contracts.
The council considered but rejected installing sidewalk at a home at 219 E. Fourth St. as part of the city’s low-to-moderate income home rehabilitation program. Lindner said the possible additional $11,000 cost would put the project over the $15,000 allocated for local projects. Though money is available, drainage issues were also discussed. Dawn Lucas and Kurt Ketelsen voted for the project and Steve Hasenmiller requested more bids be asked for.
The council approved street closures the evenings of June 2 and Aug. 25 for car shows in conjunction with Tunes in Town; a mortgage release for 300 Third Ave. for fulfillment of conditions of DeWitt’s 2005 home rehabilitation program; the monthly budgeted storm water sewer rate increase of 25 cents for residential, one dollar for commercial and two dollars for industrial, which will make the program break even; permission for a farmer’s market in Lincoln Park May through October; and placing a Dumpster at Ninth Street near the Sixth Avenue corner for roof work at the Ruhl and Ruhl building.
In addition the second reading of an amendment to the city’s code of ordinances relating to mowing of properties was approved.