City of Russell
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.