Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Russell Sportsmen's Club

Russell Sportsmen's Club will conduct a muzzle loading rifle match on Sunday, September 27 at 2 p.m. The public is invited and youth are welcome. The target with the smallest group of three will win a frozen turkey. The range is located at 41570 280th Avenue southwest of Russell. For more information , call Dan at 641-203-5296.

Russell Sportsmen's Club and Southern Prairie Pheasants Forever

Russell Sportsmen’s Club and Southern Prairie Pheasants Forever will conduct a free trap shoot for middle school through high school students on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 2 P.M. at the Sportsmen’s Club range. Safety instruction, eye/ear protection, ammunition, targets, and shooting fundamentals will be provided by the sponsors. Range fees will be waived for youth. Participants are encouraged to bring their own firearms, but youth models will be available for use by those who do not have their own. The range is located at 41570 280th Avenue southwest of Russell. There also will be a separate division for adults that afternoon. The public is invited. For more information , call Dan 641-203-5296.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

August 2015 City of Russell Council Minutes

City of Russell
Council Meeting
August 3, 2015  7pm

Mayor Pro Tem Duane Bedford called the meeting to order at 7pm. Mayor Ed Scheel was absent. Council members in attendance were Susan Beecher, Dana Blue, Crystal Moore and Jay Pierschbacher. Others in attendance were Fire Chief Craig Alexander.
Visitors were Delores Carroll, Cody Carroll, Craig Gooder, Linda Shumate, Austin Smith, Gene Simmons, Dusty Simmons, Kevin Tanner, and Emilee Kaufman,

On a motion by Jay with second by Crystal it was approved to accept the resignation from Wendy Nickell as City Clerk effective August 31. 2015. Motion carried 5-0. Jay made the motion to approve the month to month consulting fee of $500 per month for Wendy Nickell to be available for clerk assistance/training the month of September and possibly October. if needed with second by Crystal. Motion carried 5-0.

On a motion by Crystal with second by Jay the minutes from the previous meeting were approved. Motion carried 5-0.

Crystal made the motion to approve the income/expense report with second by Susan. Motion carried 5-0. Susan asked the city clerk what the balance is in the franchise fee account. Jay spoke up and asked that she not ask questions that are spoken as an attack on the city clerk. He said the question is fine but don’t speak in a matter that is derogatory toward her. The clerk will look up that information after the meeting. Susan asked why financials were not being published in the paper and has been asked by residents and one of those residents’ wives was in attendance at the meeting. The clerk stated the financials are published in the paper every month along with the minutes from each council meeting. There is proof of publication documents in the published items binder here at city hall.

Austin Smith with Garden and Associates-The PPG Grant was approved. Austin is making up a map of the sewer system from the old city maps. IRWA will help with the smoke testing selected areas of the city. Their service is free to the city. The city will have to pay for the smoke canisters. The smoke testing will help determine where to do cleaning and televising of the sewer system. We don't have enough grant money to televise the whole system, but the plan is to test and clean sewers in at least half the city. Storm sewer maps are not much help due to poor condition of those maps.

Linda Shumate with the Monroe County SWCD concerning the Cedar Creek watershed project was here to explain 28E agreement. Council members will study the information Linda handed out, but will wait to join the 28E agreement at this time so the Mayor can have input as well. The city can join the 28E agreement at any time. The city needs to provide a letter to Linda that the city does not wish to join the 28E agreement at this time.

Craig Gooder feels he was wrongly accused by a council member of putting a note in another resident’s mailbox about their lot in town that needed mowing. He said he would never do that. He said he offered for this person to come talk to him about it and they never did. So he asked council member S Beecher if they were good. Craig said he heard that is where it came from and she said that is heresy. He asked K Tanner who was present why he wanted to talk to him. K Tanner says he wanted to ask him a question. Tempers flared and Duane stopped the proceedings and asked, is this a council issue or personal issue. The parties agreed it was personal and Craig then said let’s step outside, to talk and resolve the issue. Craig and Kevin left the meeting.

Emilee Kaufman wants to talk with the council about putting in a culvert to divert flooding in front of her house. She had pictures she shared with the council. The city will work on checking the area for a culvert that might be buried there and add another culvert. Duane will need to check with another resident in town that owns property in that area to get permission to do work on or near his property.
Delores Carroll asks for approval to close the street for a street dance at fall festival Sept 19. On a motion by Dana with second by Susan approval was given to close the street in front of the Southside for the street dance. Motion carried 5-0.
Fire Dept-September 19 is fall festival and the Fire Dept would like to again use the park for the BBQ cookoff contest. The entrants would be bringing in their equipment Friday evening. The Fire dept would get the key from Larry to unlock the hydrant for use during the cookoff. The Fire Dept would pay for one kybo and Craig asks if the city would pay for another one as they did last year. Dana made the motion for the city to pay for one kybo with second by Crystal. Motion carried 5-0.

Street dept-pot holes are being fixed and are ongoing. A culvert needs to be replaced on E Shaw between G. Trusty and H. Reed. There is a problem with a culvert east of R. Hensley where a section of black plastic culvert tends to hold water back. He plans to dig out the water-way when it dries up so it can flow to the culvert under the road. A culvert at L Krutsinger driveway needs to be replaced as well. C. Smith Lucas County road supervisor looked at the culvert and it was his opinion that a 30" culvert needs to be placed there.
Jay said a lot of patching has been done and he thinks it looks good. The skid loader had 2 flat tires on Friday. The skid loader tires are bald and need replaced. A bid was given by R & R Tire at $150 each. Duane contacted Ed and it was decided to purchase the tires per bid from R & R.
Water/Wastewater-Water loss was up but part of that was from the tower being emptied, cleaned and then re-filled. Jim Neer spoke to council member about his leak at the meter pit on the property he owns west of his house. The water in the pit needs to be tested again. There is leak near H. Reed on E Shaw and the water needs to be tested at that site as well. Dana brought up the issue with the ditch in front of the school that holds water. Jay mentioned he doesn't think culvert has enough fall. More investigation needs to be done to see if any correction can be made to resolve this standing water issue.
Old business-Thank you to Jay for re-roofing the VB shelter house. He asked that the city give some monetary payment to the individual that helped him. Jay will talk with the individual about what he would like to do. The electrical cable needs reattached and Jay asks that it not be attached through the roof, which could damage the new roof.

The owners of a property on West Ames have torn the house down and need to be notified that the debris cannot be burned. Duane will go talk to them about DNR rules for demolishing/removing a structure.

New business-Dana made the motion to table choosing council date for September until the meeting tomorrow evening with second by Jay. Motion carried 5-0.
Crystal made the motion to adjourn at 8:55pm with second by Susan.

July City of Russell Council Minutes

City of Russell

Council Meeting

July 6, 2015


Mayor Ed Scheel called the meeting to order at 7:02pm. Council members in attendance were Duane Bedford, Dana Blue, Susan Beecher, Crystal Moore and Jay Pierschbacher. Also in attendance was Police Chief Jeff Johnson. Visitors were Randy Nickell, Craig Gooder, and Cody Carroll.
Jay made the motion to accept the minutes from the previous meeting with second by Duane. Motion carried 5-0.
On a motion by Dana with second by Crystal the Income/Expense report was approved. Motion carried 5-0.
Randy Nickell spoke to a specific council member about the two occasions of offensive language when speaking to the city clerk. The council member apologized. Jay stated the council needs to be better about representing themselves. That they (the council) need to be better about being positive when speaking about city employees. Crystal stated she is embarrassed about how the council acts. There should not be any yelling between council members or any visitors yelling at council members. Jay wants to know if they are going to try to work together. Jay stated if this type of behavior continues the council member should resign instead of the city clerk. Dana stated they (the council) don’t work together as a united council. She also stated she wanted to see things get done around town when she ran for office and that is not happening.
Craig Gooder addressed the council stating he feels he was falsely accused concerning a mowing issue.
Dana made the motion to approve resolution 2015-5 Nicholas Rowland tax abatement with second by Duane. Motion carried 5-0.
Police dept-Harley Haven is having an event July 18. Jeff recommended to the owners that they hire their own security. The county would also be available for any issues. Dana says there is a concern for a non-resident leaving a trailer parked on Short St. Also, there have been some children standing/playing in the street on E Shaw, not allowing vehicles to pass and this is a dangerous situation.
Streets-Thursday June 25 Dana received numerous complaints from residents about cleanup after the storm. There was discussion about what culverts are the responsibility of the city and those that are the responsibility of the property owner. Ed will talk to Larry and figure out what culverts need cleaned out that are the responsibility of the city.
The drainage grate at Harley Haven needs fixed before their July 18 event. Dana will call Scott McGee and let him know that we will find someone else to fix the grate since he is so busy with other work. The Mayor will call other contractors. There are many complaints about potholes. The Mayor will talk with Larry about getting potholes fixed and report back at the next meeting. Council says to fix the largest and worst potholes first. If weather is not conducive to fixing potholes, then work on cleaning out culverts and ditches that are the most urgent.
Water/Wastewater- Iowa Department of Ag-Division of Soil Conservation. South Central IA Cedar Creek Watershed Management Authority wants the city to enter into a 28E agreement. Dana will call Linda Schumate to get a clearer idea of what exactly the city would be joining. The council has too many questions to feel comfortable about making the motion to join now.
A leak has been reported a leak at a residents meter pit. Larry tested the water twice. The first time is showed a trace of chlorine and second time it showed no chlorine.
Jay hears complaints that the city looks worse than it has in years. Also, it is felt that Larry takes too long mowing. There was discussion about how long it takes to mow the city properties. The Mayor stated that just the lagoon mowing takes approximately 3 hours.
The council asked how long it takes to do the Water and Wastewater tests per day. Duane responded that the water/wastewater testing takes about 60 minutes per day. The Thursday tests add another 50 minutes. Jay stated the w/ww tests per week take up almost one whole day out of the employee’s work week at 6-7 hours per week.
The council would like Larry to document by list, what he gets done every day.
Dana made the motion with second by Jay to hire someone PT to mow, spray and do weed eating for approximately 10 hours per week at $10/hour with the possibility of helping in other areas later on as needed. Motion carried 5-0. The city clerk will put the ad in the Chariton paper to run July 9 and July 14. Applications can be picked up at city hall. Completed applications are due back to city hall by July 17.
At 9:30pm Duane made motion to continue past 9pm with second by Susan. Motion carried 5-0.
Old business-table the issue addressing owners to clean up after their horses when riding in town.
Jay made the motion with second by Duane to ask the city attorney to do a title search for a warranty deed and letter of intent from the owners with a notarized statement that they can’t back out. Motion carried 5-0. The Mayor will contact Ray Meyer about this request.
New business-none.
On a motion by Dana with second by Crystal the meeting was adjourned at 9:55pm.
The next meeting will be on Monday August 3, 2015 at 7pm.

June City Council Meeting Minutes

City of Russell

Public Hearing

Council Meeting

June 1, 2015


Mayor Ed Scheel called the public meeting to order at 7pm. Council members in attendance were Duane Bedford, Susan Beecher, Dana Blue and Crystal Moore. Jay Pierschbacher entered the meeting at 7:01pm. Police chief Jeff Johnson was also in attendance. Visitors were Larry Templeton, Jeremy Blue, Jake and Shanna Rodgers, Kevin Tanner, Gene Simmons and Craig Gooder.

On a motion by Duane with second by Dana the Budget Amendment resolution 2015-4 was approved. Motion carried 5-0.

The Mayor called the regular council meeting to order at 7:04pm.

Susan made the motion with second by Duane to approve the minutes from the previous meeting. Motion carried 5-0.

On a motion by Jay with second by Susan the income and expense reports were approved. Motion carried 5-0.

Susan recommended moving the funds we have designated for abandoned home demolition be put in a 6 month CD where it could draw some interest. No action was taken.

Jay made the motion to approve the renewal of the cigarette licenses for Last Chance Market and The Southside with second by Crystal. Motion carried 5-0.

Jeremy Blue spoke to some things that he feels need to be done around town i.e.: clean out ditches and storm drains, streets need bladed and pot holes fixed. The Mayor explained why the city is not cleaning out storm drains. It has to do with the smoke testing we are actively pursuing funds for so we can get problem areas determined. Once we know where the problems lie, then we can get a plan for cleaning and/or repairs. Duane then mentioned all the things that are getting done that the residents don't see i.e.: repairing equipment, (which has been an enormous job that saves the city money), electrical and plumbing expertise, added testing at the lagoon, he states he lives right across from the city shop and our employee is always working. He carries his log book with him as to his daily working activities and it is available to be viewed at any time.

Larry Templeton was in attendance and stated there is documentation in the previous council minutes about his property being dirty, that his pond should be fenced and he states that these are inaccurate statements. He further states the DNR never expressed the need for him to build a fence around his pond. He keeps his property mowed and he asks that the speaking about his property in a derogatory manner stop. He will seek legal counsel if this continues. The resident then left the meeting.

Dana talked with Mark Tomb at the Iowa League of Cities at length about our ordinances. We need to do a recodification and update of all our ordinances. This should be done every 5 years. The City of Allerton recently had theirs updated and they do not have zoning. So we are in similar situation as the City of Russell is not zoned either. Our biggest issue is with abandoned homes.

Police-all vehicles need to be registered, can't be missing wheels, have broken glass, or missing doors. It was mentioned that there are appliances behind a property on Larimer St. Jeff will try to find the owners and notify them to clean the property of the junk and debris.

Fire Dept-no department members present.

Streets- The Mayor will relay any issues to Larry. None were mentioned.

W/WW-Grass carp were purchased for the lagoons. There is a possible leak east on Shaw. Larry will need to check the shut-off east of H. Reed.

Old business-Craig Gooder talked with Linda Allen from Regional Housing Trust Fund and there is money for removing abandoned houses. There is also money available to residents to do repairs and upgrades to their homes. Residents have to have Homeowners insurance, meet income guidelines and fill out the application. Residents can contact Linda Allen at Chariton City Hall 774-5991, if interested in applying through the RHTF. The City clerk will be in contact with the owner of 401 W. Smith St and Duane will contact owner of 401 W. Ames to inquire about the owners plans for their properties.

We have asked horse owners to clean up after their horses when they leave manure on the street. A horse owner that lives outside of the city was seen riding in town and did not clean up the unsightly mess. Susan will get the city clerk an address and a courtesy letter will be sent to that individual. This issue will be placed on the next agenda for further discussion and for the council to agree on a solution to this problem.

The shelter house roof at the VB court will be replaced. Jay will order the shingles and take charge of getting the work done. The new VB net is up and in use. It should be checked periodically to make sure that the tension on the net remains appropriate for its use. The net should be taken down every winter.

The Draft agreement with Garden & Associates was approved on a motion by Duane with second by Susan. Motion carried 5-0.

New business-Susan has been in touch with Municipal Code Corporation. They will send a portfolio of the costs to do the recodification of all our city ordinances.

At the Intersection of Smith and Garfield, there are many trees and bushes obstructing traffic view when pulling onto Smith St. Also, at the intersection of Smith and S. Main the large bushes limit visibility pulling onto Smith St. Ed will call the owner about the issue at Smith and Main. Larry will cut back/remove brush at Smith and Garfield.

The city will send thank you notes to The Vredenburg Foundation, SCICF and SPLASH for the grant monies received by the city. Duane will purchase and write the notes and have them available for the council members to sign at the next meeting. Part of the grant agreement is that a sign needs to be erected acknowledging the grant providers. It was also suggested that a sign be posted at the newly surfaced tennis court stating "Tennis Only". There are to be no bikes, skateboards, etc. on the tennis court.

Motion to adjourn was made by Susan at 8:21pm with second by Dana.

The next meeting will be on Monday July 6 at 7pm.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Yard of the Month

Russell Wayside Garden Club has chosen the home of Frances Prather as the September Yard of the month. Hanging baskets, planters and flowering shrubs, add color to the front yard.

Russell Sportsmen's Club

Russell Sportsmen's Club will sponsor an Iowa Permit-to-Carry class Monday, September 21st at 6:30p.m. at 41570 280th Avenue southwest of Russell.  This will be the last class until spring.  To register, call Dan at 641-203-5296.
Take pride in Your Ride/  Russell Fall Festival

Russell's 2nd annual Take Pride in your Ride Show N' Shine, September 19th at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  It will be uptown Russell next to the Bandstand park.  Afterwards there will be a Cruise your ride through the parade at 4 p.m.  If it has wheels and a motor we want to see it.  Parade theme this year is "Our Little Slice of Heaven, established in 1867.  Show us what you love about our small town."

Russell Volunteer Fire Department

Russell Volunteer Fire Department 5th annual Best in Smoke BBQ competition will be held September 18th and 19th at the Russell Bandstand City Park. There will be an entry fee. Judging starts at 2 p.m. The cook's meeting will be Friday, Sept. 17th at 7 p.m. There will be a freewill BBQ dinner on September 19th at 5 p.m. at the Fire Station.  For more information call Shawn at 641-203-3164.