City Council Minutes – June 4, 2018

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Madrid City Council
Regular Meeting
June 4, 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, Deputy City Clerk Deb Biegger, Public Works Director Rick Tasler, Fire Chief Jim Murry, Library Director Angie Strong, Police Officers John Mackey and Bryan Olmstead, Park Board members Tom Brown and Dualla Carlson, Labor Day committee member Alex Wibe and P&Z Board member Matt Plueger.

Councilperson Shaver asked that an item be removed from the agenda, however Mayor Kruse stated the agenda would stand as written.

Motion by Councilperson Chapman, seconded by Councilperson Cook to approve the agenda for June 4, 2018.

Ayes: Ohrt, Chapman, Cook              Nays: Samples, Shaver                      Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Chapman, seconded by Councilperson Ohrt to approve the meeting minutes of May 21, 2018.

Ayes; All Present                                                                    Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Samples to approve the claims for June 4, 2018 in the amount of $ 73,331.89.

Ayes: All Present                                                                    Motion Carried

Mary Holmes of the Madrid Area Chamber of Commerce advised the Council she met recently with representatives of “Healthy Home Town.” Holmes will be working with the group to possibly obtain grants for sidewalk repairs.

Alex Wibe of the Labor Day committee asked the Council to approve the appointment of Brian Young to the committee. The item will be placed on the agenda for council approval at the City Council Meeting on June 18, 2018.

Library Director Angie Strong reported the Library Board is compiling a property maintenance plan for the library. Their first step will be to replace a portion of the sidewalk in front of the library. She advised the Summer Reading Program entitled “Summers Rock” will kick off on June 8th with a magician. There will be weekly programs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Other upcoming events include Pinterest Party, Movie Night, chess, robotics, adult coloring, and teen after hours.

Tom Brown of the Parks and Recreation Board advised sand volleyball league has started. The next board meeting will be June 12th at 5:30 in the Council Chambers at City Hall. He stated the board has been trying to obtain information regarding the deconstruction of the cabin. Mayor Kruse asked that he contact Scott Church regarding the issue. He also asked for a copy of FY 19 budget. Dualla Carlson stated Alex Brown has completed his Eagle Scout project of placing tiny library’s at three locations within the City of Madrid.

Fire Chief Jim Murry reported there was a slight accident with the rescue vehicle. The awning at the Madrid Home was scraped during a rescue call on June 3rd. There was slight damage to the top of the rescue vehicle, and some damage to the awning. He is currently obtaining an estimate of damages for the incident.

Public Safety Director Rick Tasler reported he expects the police department to come in under budget for FY 18. He asked that the email address going to the former mayor be closed. Tasler stated his contract was not in his employee file, and that someone had removed it. City Clerk Reese advised she has never seen the contract in his file, and she did not remove it. The personnel files are now locked in a file cabinet in her office, and no one has access to that file. Councilperson Shaver stated he is waiting for a copy of that contact for his records.

Councilperson Chapman expressed her concern with continuing rumors within the community regarding attacks against the police department. Tasler stated his job was threatened in the past and he feels he is working in a hostile work environment.

Police Officer John Mackey referenced the social media policy in the Code of Ordinances. His concerns were with the internet policy and asked if the Council was included in that policy. The City Council members as elected officials are considered employees of the city. Mackey mentioned that police information concerning confidential cases is not public information. He would like verbiage added to the ordinance and policy that exempts the police department from violating the policy in the course of their official work. He also clarified that the police department will comply with open record requests if the information does not involve an active case.

Tasler asked Mayor Kruse where he obtained a copy of Tasler’s written contract. Kruse stated he has had the copy since former Mayor Jeff Gibbons presented the contract for approval of the council. The copy Kruse has, was not taken from his personnel file. He asked that a copy of his contract be placed back in his personnel folder.

Mayor Kruse asked for a motion to approve the Machs/Tracs system for the police department. The cost of the system is around $11,443.14 with the cost of the equipment being paid for by the 911 board. The City of Madrid would need to pay for the installation of the equipment. Councilpersons Chapman and Ohrt went to Boone County recently to view the Machs/Tracs system and feels the system would be beneficial to the police department. A long conversation took place between Chapman and Tasler and other members of the Council regarding the pros and cons of the system. Councilperson Samples feels the system is not an efficient system for Madrid. A heated discussion ensued between Tasler, Mackey, Olmstead, and members of the Council regarding the system. The members of the police department stated they would not use the system, even if available.  Motion by Councilperson Chapman seconded by Councilperson Ohrt to table the issue.

Ayes: All Present                                                                    Motion Carried

Mayor Kruse shared with the Council, information from the Southern Prairie Drive traffic study done by the engineering firm of SEH. One suggestion in the study was to install islands in the middle of the street to slow traffic, at a cost of $24,000. Matt Plueger of 248 Southern Prairie Drive stated that something needs to be done to slow traffic, however asked that the Council not consider that option due to the cost.

Bryce Rowe of 511 South Market Street, commented on the condition of West 6th and Union Streets, and says he takes Southern Prairie Drive because of the condition of West 6th Street. He is concerned when residents of Southern Prairie Drive park across from each other in an attempt to slow traffic.

Matt Plueger of the Planning and Zoning Board stated the next P & Z meeting will be held on June 14th. He advised the Council that a request to rezone a portion of Southern Prairie Drive from residential to commercial was rejected by the Board.

Motion by Councilperson Chapman, seconded by Councilperson Samples to approve Resolution # 31-17-18, “Resolution Amending the Rate for Water Utility.” The rate increase of 10% will be affective July 1st.

Ayes: All Present                                                                    Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Chapman, seconded by Councilperson Ohrt to approve Resolution # 32-17-18, “Resolution Amending the Rate for Sewer Utility.” The rate increase of 5% will be affective July 1st.

Ayes: All Present                                                                    Motion Carried

The Council considered a request to hire a new full time public works employee for the position of sewer treatment plant operator, and a request to rehire part time seasonal employee Cody Martin. Councilperson Shaver asked for more information on the termination of the sewer plant operator. Rod Dalton of 421 North Main Street approached the Council to ask the reason the Council would be considering hiring a new employee. Mayor Kruse advised the reason for the termination of the sewer plant operation is a personnel issue and cannot be disclosed. Motion by Councilperson Cook seconded by Councilperson Shaver to table the matter of hiring a new full-time employee until more information is available. The hiring of Cody Martin is approved.

Ayes: Samples, Chapman, Cook, Shaver                  Nays: Ohrt                   Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Samples to approve Resolution # 30-17-18,” Resolution Authorizing Utility Billing Clerk to Assess a Mosquito Spraying Charge Upon the Water/Sewer/Garbage billing.

Ayes: All Present                                                                    Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Samples to approve the renewal of cigarette/vapor permits for the Madrid VFW, Dollar General Store, Casey’s, and Git-n-Go, by consent agenda.

Ayes: All Present                                                                    Motion Carried

The Council discussed a request for proposal received for the purchase of the city owned building at 246 West 2nd Street. A proposal in the amount of $5,000 was made by Opportunity Investments LLC. owned by Jason Springer. Springer proposes to construct apartments in the upstairs of the building and business opportunity on the lower level, with work on the outside to be completed within six months. Motion by Councilperson Ohrt, seconded by Councilperson Samples to table the matter until more details can be obtained regarding the type of windows proposed for the restoration.

Ayes: All Present                                                                    Motion Carried

Councilperson Kruse advised the Council the City did receive a petition for a special election to fill the position of Councilperson for Ward 2. Since the Mayoral appointment was also appointed, the public will have the opportunity to select a mayor at that time as well. Both positions would then expire on December 30, 2019.

Councilperson Samples thanked the police and fire departments for their quick response to smoke from an electrical issue at the funeral home.

Councilperson Chapman reported she had been approached by a resident with dead branches in a tree in the parking area. She will discuss the issue with the Public Works Director. She also spoke with a resident on West 5th Street who was concerned with a tree that has raised the sidewalk in front of their home. She questioned possible construction at the corner of West 6th and Market Streets. The City Clerk advised Safe Building Compliance has been called to investigate that issue.

Councilperson Shaver also reported receiving reports with trees located in the parking areas. He will also speak with the Public Safety Director regarding the issues.

Mayor Kruse read a thank you letter received from the Madrid Historical Society in response to a recent Local Option Sales Tax donation in the amount of $500.00 from the City of Madrid.

Dustin Dalton of 137 West 2nd Street asked for the name of the employee that the Public Works Director was considering hiring. City Clerk Reese advised him that no one has been mentioned as a possible new employee and that all proper hiring procedures will be followed.

Bryce Rowe of 511 South Market Street approached the Council to discuss the alleyway behind his home. The alley is being considered for closure. Rowe stated some neighbors in the area are afraid to sign the petition for closing the alley due to fear of retaliation by one neighbor. He complained about the unnamed neighbor and feels the City should do something to have him removed from the City. Councilperson Chapman recommended setting up a neighborhood watch committee in their area.

Jake Vaughn of 510 South Market Street also complained about the same neighbor stating he has been threatened by this individual. He was also concerned with the speed of traffic on his street.

Don Lincoln of 1672 334th Rd, reported the former Pizza Palace, now owned by the City, is now on the market. He has received some interest and reminded the potential buyers that the house will need to be removed within 60 days of purchase.

Steve Neff of 927 W. 8th Street approached and stated he does not feel the Tracs/Mach system is safe for the officers and is not worth the money to the taxpayers.

Clerk Reese advised the annual audit has been scheduled for August 22nd.

Mayor Kruse commented on the process for the petition for special election. He feels there has been some negative comments being made to constituents when soliciting those signatures for the petition.

Councilperson Chapman agrees that there is a lot negative information going around town and stressed there are no plans to dismantle the police department.

Motion by Councilperson Chapman, seconded by Councilperson Shaver, to adjourn the City Council Meeting at 7:50 p.m.