City Council Minutes – June 18, 2018

Click Here to download and print minutes

Madrid City Council
Regular Meeting
June 18, 2018
5:30 p.m.

The City Council meeting was called to order at 5:30 p.m. with Mayor Kurt Kruse presiding.

Present at Roll Call: Nate Samples, Eric Ohrt, Val Chapman, Dave Cook and Lane Shaver.

Other City Officials Present: City Clerk Mary Jo Reese, City Attorney John Jordan, Public Safety Director Rick Tasler, Fire Chief Jim Murry, Library Director Angie Strong, Public Works Employee Mike Forristall, Police Officers John Mackey and Bryan Olmstead, Park Board members Tom Brown, Jolynn Carlson and Dualla Carlson and Planning and Zoning Committee members Randy Dalton and Matt Plueger.

Motion by Councilperson Samples, seconded by Councilperson Chapman to approve the agenda for June 18, 2018.

Ayes: All Present                                                        Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Chapman, seconded by Councilperson Ohrt to open the Public Hearing regarding the proposed 6th Street Paving Project.

Ayes: All Present                                                        Motion Carried

No citizens were present who wished to speak about the paving project. No correspondence was received at City Hall regarding the issue.

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Samples to close the Public Hearing.

Motion by Councilperson Cook, seconded by Councilperson Samples to approve the City Council meeting minutes of June 4, 2018 and the library meeting minutes of May 8, 2018 by consent agenda.

Ayes; All Present                                                                    Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Ohrt to approve the claims for June 18, 2018 in the amount of $ 61,462.70.

Ayes: All Present                                                                    Motion Carried

Penny Perkins of FTF Restoration approached the Council to discuss progress on the Dalander Prairie. Perkins was concerned with a recent mowing of the prairie. The prairie is fourteen acres of various habitat which can be damaged by heavy equipment. She would like to see better communication between Public Works and FTF Restoration before work is done on the prairie.

Becky Roorda of 804 West 2nd Street expressed her support of Penny Perkins and the prairie restoration.

Jake Vaughn of 510 South Market Street asked the Council who the IT person is for the city. Mayor Kruse stated he has been acting as IT director for City Hall, and John Mackey has been performing the task for the Police Department. Vaughn feels there is a conflict of interest and felt he was given the runaround when he requested copies of emails. Mayor Kruse advised all request for information must be reviewed by the City Attorney before it is released.

Dustin Dalton of 137 West 2nd Street presented a request for information form to Mayor Kruse asking for all emails sent by the Mayor of Madrid from July 1, 2017 to present. He asked Mayor Kruse if, as an IT person he could change dates on emails. Kruse said the dates on an email cannot be manipulated. He then asked if Mayor Kruse, or Councilperson Cook has ever been present at a meeting where Chief Tasler’s job had been threatened. Attorney John Jordan advised them not to answer the question. He also reminded the audience that personnel issues are not discussed in a public forum. Dalton went on to quiz Councilperson Ohrt as to whether or not he was shopping for a home outside the city limits. Ohrt responded that if he were to move outside the city limits he would have to resign his position.

Don Lincoln of 1672 334th Place reported as the city’s realtor for the property on North Kennedy Avenue, formerly know as the Pizza Palace. There was one low offer received for the property. John Jordan suggested the City may want to obtain some estimates on demolishing the building. Lincoln stated the property would probably sell quicker as bare ground without the house.

Don Lincoln advised the first phase of the Main Street bike access has been completed. The second phase involves installation of the coal mine entrance replica. Lincoln will discuss street closing for the Labor Day Car Show with the Labor Day Committee.

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Ohrt to approve Brian Young as a Labor Day Committee member.

Ayes: All Present                                                        Motion Carried

Library Director Angie Strong presented the Council with a building maintenance plan for the library which outlined areas of concern for future maintenance. The library recently received two grants; one will be used for new computer chairs and the other will be used to purchase an I-pad/laptop charging cart. Strong reported the library will be receiving county funding in the amount of $19,000 this year. Recent programs at the library include the Summer Reading kick-off event with 174 participants, teen after hours with 21 attendees, and Mad Science. Upcoming programs include Book Discussion, Teen Make and Take Event, a family event – Swinging Through the Stacks, Movie Afternoon and Trivia Night for Kids. A previously cancelled Robotics night will be rescheduled for July.

Jolynne Carlson of the Parks and Recreation Board reported youth baseball and softball are wrapping up. Youth fall soccer signup is complete. Adult volleyball leagues have started, and the group is looking at different options for borders around the court. The board is looking into having a sand volleyball tournament during Labor Day Weekend. Carlson advised the cabin at the park has been dismantled, some pieces have been saved and are being stored inside on her property. The caretakers house at Edgewood Park is expected to be demolished this week. The group is looking into temporary repairs to the tennis courts. The courts will need to be moved when an upcoming storm sewer project commences in the future. Carlson commented the park public works staff is doing a wonderful job maintaining the park. Carlson stated the Freedom Flight group from Boone would like to place a bench in Cassel Corner Park. It was decided that if the Park Board approved of the placement of the bench in Cassel Corner Park at their next scheduled meeting, the Council would agree with their decision. Carlson reported swim lessons have started in Boone. The Madrid Endowment Fund is also sponsoring a free bus ride to the Woodward pool for elementary age children. Councilmember Ohrt asked that the Park Board make a decision regarding the disposition of the cottonwood tree stump at Edgewood Park. Several suggestions were made for saving parts of the stump.

The Council reviewed Resolution #34-17-18, “Resolution Closing South State Street for the Fireman’s Ball.” The resolution calls for closing a portion of South State Street on July 28, 2018 from 3p.m. to midnight to hold the Fireman’s Ball. Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Chapman to approve the resolution.

Ayes: All Present                                                        Motion Carried

Fire Chief Jim Murry asked the status of the proposed Public Safety building. Murry also ask City Clerk Reese if he could have an accurate balance of the fire building fund once research into the matter has been completed.

Public Safety Director Rick Tasler advised he has a current training schedule. He will make copies of the schedule to distribute to interested Councilmembers. Tasler informed of various scheduled training with the Council. Tasler spoke of a recent email he received from Mayor Kruse that mentioned what he felt were incidents of unprovoked attacks and instances of insubordination by the police department towards the Mayor and the Council that took place at the City Council Meeting on June 4, 2018. Tasler stated he questioned various members of the Council after the meeting, and they did not feel they were attacked. Councilperson Chapman stated she feels there was some finger pointing and accusations made during the last meeting by members of the police department. Tasler does not feel any insubordination occurred during that meeting. Mayor Kruse stated his email revolved around a heated discussion with the police department concerning the Machs/Tracs system.

Tasler mentioned he still does not have a copy of his most recent contract. Attorney John Jordan advised he will look for a copy he may have in his office files. Officer Mackey asked if he should be concerned with personnel files being taken from the Clerk’s office. City Clerk Reese stated the files have been moved from the safe, which is open during the day, to a locked file within her office. Councilperson Ohrt asked Tasler to email the department’s training schedule to him. Tasler replied he was unable to do so as he didn’t know how to send it via email. Councilperson Ohrt suggested that Tasler take some basic computer training. Tasler assured the Council that Officer Mackey, IT person for the Police Department will be handling that training.

Officer John Mackey stated the department has received their new Madridiowa.org email addresses, however they have not been set up as of this time. He referred to an email copy he received that included usernames and passwords for those new email account. The email according to Mackey was sent by Mayor Kruse and was cc’d to Dan Kolacia, Boone County Attorney, and Greg Elsberry, Boone county Sheriff. He asked the basis for including those two individuals in the email chain. Kruse advised he included them because Dan Kolacia is the top law enforcement official in the county. He added Greg Elsberry because of various things that have happened recently in the City. He went on to explain that Empowerment Solutions has set up the madridiowa.org emails and passwords which can be changed a soon as the emails are set up. The madridiowa.org domain is more secure than the g-mail addresses that are currently being used. Mackey feels instances like these are the reason the public feels mistrust towards the Mayor and Council. Councilperson Ohrt asked Mackey if he trusted the Boone County Attorney and the Boone County Sheriff. Mackey answered, “Absolutely not.” He clarified that by saying there have been issues with those two departments long before he was employed as a full-time officer. Mackey asked Councilperson Cook about a note that he allegedly received from John Jordan. Jordan replied that he does not remember what the contents of that note were. Councilperson Cook advised he will speak with legal counsel and release the information, if allowed.

Randy Dalton representing the Planning and Zoning Board asked the Council to consider appointing another director for the Board. The previous director passed away recently. Mayor Kruse advised he will speak with Safe Building Compliance and ask if the company is able to continue in that role.

The Council considered a Recommendation of Award for the upcoming 6th Street resurfacing project. City Engineer Perry Gjersvik of SEH, advised the Council, four bids were received for the project. Mannatt’s Inc. was the low bid at $118,955. The engineers estimate for the project was nearly $123,000. He recommended the contract be awarded to Mannatt’s from Ames, Iowa. Motion by Councilperson Chapman, seconded by Councilperson Ohrt to approve the recommendation.

Ayes: All Present                                                        Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Ohrt, seconded by Councilperson Samples to approve a bid from Dependable Drain and Plumbing in the amount of $9,970 to repair some of the storm sewer catch basins.

Ayes: All Present                                                        Motion Carried

The Council discussed the hiring of an additional public works employee. The public felt this employee was a replacement for an employee who was recently terminated. Sadie Fuson of 502 South State Street,and Martha Furness of 609 West 5th Street approached the Council to consider reinstating Nick Furness as a public works employee. They asked that the City to review the situation and re-hire Nick Furness. City Attorney John Jordan advised that personnel issues cannot be discussed in a public meeting. Motion by Councilperson Ohrt, to hire a new public works employee. There was no second to the motion.

Rod Dalton of 421 North Main asked Mike Forristall, who is the Union Seward for the Public Works employees why a grievance has not been filed on Nick Furness’s behalf with the Union. Forristall stated according to the Union there is no grievance issue. John Jordan reminded Dalton personnel issues cannot be discussed.

Mayor Kruse explained that Scott Church approached the Mayor and the City Clerk long before the recent termination to request the hiring of an additional Public Works employee. That person would be needed as a long-time employee has indicated he will be retiring in the next 18 months.

Motion by Councilperson Samples, seconded by Councilperson Chapman to approve a Bridge Inspection Agreement with JEO Engineering. The agreement calls for the bi-annual mandatory inspection of the State Street bridge at a cost of bridge at a cost of $700.00.

Ayes: All Present                                                        Motion Carried

The Council reviewed a change order from Con-Struct for scheduled work on Phase II of the drainage canal project. The change order is a decrease of $5,680.00 in cost due to the elimination of a drain pipe and storm sewer that will not be needed. Motion by Councilperson Chapman, seconded by Councilperson Samples to approve the change order.

Ayes: All Present                                                        Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Ohrt to approve the hiring of Dalton Concrete Services for three projects. Replacement of 270 to 300 feet of curb along West 2nd Street at a cost of approximately $38.00 per square foot. Dalton will also replace a portion of the sidewalk in front of City Hall at a cost of $4,256.00, and a portion of the sidewalk on State Street at a cost of $3,622.00.

Ayes: All Present                                                        Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Ohrt to approve Resolution #35-17-18, “Resolution Calling for Special Election to Fill the Second Ward Seat Vacancy, and Mayoral Vacancy, to be Held on a Date to be Set by the Boone County Auditor.”

Ayes: All Present                                                        Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Samples to approve a request for renewal of cigarette Permit from the Market of Madrid,

Ayes: All Present                                                        Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Samples to approve a request for residential tax abatement for property owned by Benjamin Truckenberg at 103 Jonathan Dr.

Ayes: All Present                                                        Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Ohrt to approve Resolution #36-17-18, “Resolution Setting the Salaries for Appointed Officers and Employees of the City of Madrid, Iowa for FY 18-19.”

Ayes: All Present                                                        Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Samples to approve Resolution #37-17-18, “A Resolution to Transfer Funds for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2018”

Ayes: All Present                                                        Motion Carried

The Council reviewed a letter received from EMC explaining insurance coverage and settlement of case. The letter is about a claim filed when a generator for the water plant was struck by lightning.

Ayes: All Present                                                        Motion Carried

Tom Brown of 213 Parkview Lane spoke about the secure email system and feels there should be one person who could change a password. He also mentioned the Machs/Tracs system for the police department. He said the Machs system was originally designed to collect crash data, and the Tracs system was designed to track criminal hot spots so police departments could track criminal activity. He asked that the Council research and investigate purpose of those two systems before purchasing them.

Motion by Councilperson Shaver seconded by Councilperson Ohrt to adjourn the City Council Meeting at 7:27 p.m.