Monday, November 14, 2016

Russell City Council Minutes

City of Russell
Council Meeting
November 7, 2016, 7pm
Mayor, Duane Bedford called the meeting to order at 7:00pm. Council members present were Chris Feehan,   Casey DeHoedt, Terry Newcomb, Corey Paige, and Jay Pierschbacher.  Also present was Jim Larrington, Craig Alexander, and Ellen Walker from Rural Development and Austin Smith from Garden & Assoc.
 The past minutes were read and approved; Chris made motion to approve and was seconded by Casey.      Motion carried 5-0.
Income and expense reports were reviewed.   Chris motioned to approve reports and Terry seconded.  Motion passed 5-0.
Austin Smith, Garden & Assoc., spoke about DNR granting disadvantaged community status for small towns to make loans available.  Ellen Walker, USDA Rural Development, spoke also regarding low interest loans available at 1.375 percent.   The city of Russell will need to apply and will have to provide financial information on the sewer project.   If money is not available at the state level, then they will look at the national level for unused funds.  Ellen stated that if accepted, the previous loan and new loan can be combined.  Austin stated that there is no penalty for early pay off.
Casey motioned to proceed with the application for federal assistance loan for the sewer project and Terry seconded the motion.  The motion carried 5-0.
The Council discussed the police coverage in Jeff Johnson’s absence.  Jay stated that we need to request that Jeff come to a council meeting to answer questions.
Craig Alexander had a question on the phone bill splitting of funds between the City and the fire dept.  There was an error and will be fixed in the next two months through accounts payable.
Jim Larrington reported that the bandstand roof is in bad shape.  He would like to put in a concrete sidewalk to the steps and would like to add a bike rack.  The shelter on the south side is also in bad shape and Jim suggested that we remove it.   Jim stated that possibly the city could look into getting a grant for a new shelter.
Jim reported on streets.  The concrete culvert at Ames/Main is plugged.  At Smith/Chapman, the Tanners have requested some elbows put in to divert water.  Also at 401 Chapman, some culvert repair is needed.
Jim stated that areas have been flagged by One Call; City hall flagpole project, Cedar/Highland ditch, and West Lincoln St.  There is a phone line running down the Cedar/Highlander ditch, so the city will have to contact the phone company before digging.
Also, Jim stated that the asphalt at Lincoln and West Street is coming apart.
Jim requested that the backhoe be replaced due to mechanical problems.  Chris stated that the city should look into selling some equipment not used to put towards buying another backhoe.
Jay stated the city needs to concentrate on street work next year.  Duane said that after Council meets at next year’s budget work session, we will have a better idea how much funds are available.  Chris said we need to get an idea on future costs of street repair and decide on areas with the most priority.
Jim has been pumping the city well regularly to keep up with permit requirements.  Jim stated that the city should start replacing older meters which may not be reading accurately.  The Council discussed purchasing meters that can be automatically read to a computer and downloaded to run the water bills.
The Council members reviewed the City of Russell Annual Financial Report for 2016.  Casey made a motion to approve and Jay seconded it; the motion carried 5-0. 
Chris checked with Truck Equipment in Des Moines on a new snow blade.  The Council decided to purchase an 8 foot, 6 inch straight blade for $4700.  Terry made a motion to approve the purchase of the blade and Corey seconded it.  Motion passed 5-0.
Jim Larrington is taking water training in Ankeny this week and next week (Nov. 9-10, and Nov. 16-17).
Jim requested the Council  buy a new Christmas tree for the Community Building.  Jay made a motion to approve purchasing a new tree and Casey seconded; motion carried 5-0.
The next Council meeting will be held on Monday, December 5, 2016.
Chris made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:10 pm and Terry seconded.  Motion passed 5-0.

___________________________                                                             __________________________
Mayor, Duane Bedford                                                                                Clerk, Kris Wilkins

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