City Council Minutes – June 6, 2020

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Madrid City Council
Regular Meeting
June 6, 2020
10:00 a.m.

The City Council meeting was called to order at 10:10 a.m. with Mayor Tom Brown presiding. Mayor Brown conducted the meeting via Zoom as face to face meetings cannot be held due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Present at Roll Call: Steve Burich, Marvin Ostrander, Chuck Rigby and Lane Shaver. Nate Samples was absent due to an automobile accident.

Other City Officials Present: City Clerk Mary Jo Reese and Public Works Director Scott Church, Police Chief Rick Tasler, Fire Chief Randy Pecenka, Library Director Angie Strong and Madrid Senior Activities Committee member Martha Furness.

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Rigby to approve the agenda for June 6, 2020.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Ostrander, second by Councilperson Shaver to approve the City Council meeting minutes of May 18, 2020 and the Board of Adjustments meeting minutes of May 28, 2020 by consent agenda.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                           Motion Carried

No Councilperson wished to declare a conflict of interest.

Motion by Councilperson Burich, second by Councilperson Ostrander to approve the claims for June 6, 2020 in the amount of $ 253,439.41.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

Don Lincoln, president of Madrid Area Chamber of Commerce approached the Council to consider waiving the vendor fees for the food trucks they bring to town for their event on Thursday nights during the summer. The Food Truck Thursday event was held at Jensen Park last year. Due to the Covid-19 epidemic that event was cancelled this year, and food trucks previously scheduled are being allowed to set up near Market of Madrid. The events are not being held at the park to comply with social distancing requirements. Lincoln feels the trucks provide a service by providing an additional food source without leaving town. MAC did not pay any fees for the food trucks last year due to indecision on the part of the Council. Mayor Brown clarified that MAC is allowed to have food trucks come into town as long as they follow the city ordinances. The former president of MAC stated during a Council meeting that they would be willing to pay the vendor fees for those food trucks, however no permits were applied for and no fees were collected. Mayor Brown shared a screen shot of the permanent food establishments as supplied by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals website. Helga’s food truck near the Flat Tire Lounge is classified as a restaurant and not required to pay a food truck fee. MAC has not made a final decision about continuing the food truck program. MAC intends to speak with other restaurants in the city to ask how they feel about the situation. Motion by Councilperson Ostrander, second by Councilperson Burich to waive the vendor fees for food trucks associated with Madrid Area Chamber of Commerce events. Councilperson Shaver asked where MAC intends to place the food trucks as currently parks are closed. Lincoln stated the trucks will utilize the parking lot at Madrid Automotive for the Thursday night events. MAC will consider moving the trucks back to Jensen Park once they are open, however a serious conversation will be held concerning social distancing and Covid-19 requirements. Councilperson Ostrander stated he supports local business and also supports the food trucks. Councilperson Shaver is concerned with not collecting local option sales tax from the vendors and does not feel the vendor fees should be waived. City Clerk Mary Jo Reese advised the Council a donation is made each year to MAC from local option sales tax collected by the City. She feels it is counterproductive to give MAC a donation each year and them force them to pay back a portion of that donation in the form of food truck fees. Councilperson Rigby pointed out that there is a clause in the City ordinances that allows the Council to waive fees for civic groups fundraising events.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander             Nays: Rigby, Shaver                      Motion Failed

Lincoln explained the fees for the first two food trucks this year have been paid.  He addressed a recent article published in the Madrid Register News that shows MAC members and the status of their business’s due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Council reviewed information supplied by City Engineer Perry Gjersvik that shows the estimated cost to repair County Line Road and West 8th Street. The City of Madrid owned half of each street, with Boone County being the owner of the other portion. The cost to resurface County Line Road is estimated at $286,709. Two options were provided to rehabilitate West 8th Street. The first option is to resurface the street with an estimate of $235,748 or a full depth restructure for $482,793. The information will be used in discussions with Boone County concerning who is responsible for the repairs of the two streets.

The Council was asked to approve a contract with InRoads to resurface an area of North Market and West 21st Streets which are in poor condition and damaged further by the current road construction project around the elementary school. The cost for the repairs will be $23,800. Motion by Councilperson Rigby, second by Councilperson Ostrander to approve the contract.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

The Council reviewed an informational letter being mailed to all residents of Fairview Drive outlining the time line for the street resurfacing project. The project is scheduled to begin on June 15th, and continue into August.

Public Works Director advised the water main replacement project along Highway 210 is essentially complete. Only seeding and patchwork remains. Work is commencing on the second phase of the elementary school project. North Water Street is currently closed due to construction. Church stated Absolute Concrete plans to complete that project by the middle of August.

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, second by Councilperson Burich to approve a contract amount with Golf Cars of Iowa. The company would supply golf cards for use during the Madrid Labor Day event for a cost of $2,000. Councilperson Shaver stated the anticipated contract will be by Golf Cars of Iowa in the event the Labor Day Celebration is not held due to Covid-19. Approval of the amount does not approve the contract itself.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

The Council considered a request to approve an expenditure of $10,000 for a company to provide a fireworks display for the Madrid Labor Day Celebration. Motion by Councilperson Shaver, second by Councilperson Ostrander to approve the amount with the understanding that the contract will not take place if the Madrid Labor Day Celebration is canceled.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

Don Lincoln, insurance agent for EMC insurance stated he will need information regarding the Labor Day celebration by July 15th in order to obtain the necessary insurance for the event. Lincoln also heads the Labor Day car show. He stated a decision has not been made whether or not to hold that event due to the difficulty in complying with social distancing.

Library Director Angie Strong shared the new logo recently developed for the library. She also pointed out a link to the summer ready program. She stated changes were made to the ready program due to Covid-19 requirements. The library is currently supplying “Take, Make and Do” project packets for families. This program continues through the end of July. Packets can be picked up at the Library. Iowa State University extension is also supplying some packets as well. Other events have been rescheduled for a later date.  Currently only ten people are allowed into the library at one time and they are required to social distance. Hand sanitizer is supplied, masks are being worn by staff members and recommended for visitors. All returned library materials must be placed in the outside drop box. Only 4 computers are available, and people can only visit once per day. Any items touched by visitors will be quarantined. There are no toys and no seating available. Curbside service is still available. The meeting room is not available for rental. Strong advised the “Little Free Food Pantry will be installed on June 10th. The library recently was the recipient of a grant from Madrid Community Endowment in the amount of $1,088 for two new lounge chairs.

Mayor Brown recommended the appointment of Beth Frettim to the Madrid park board. Motion by councilperson Rigby, second by Councilperson Burich to approve the appointment.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Ostrander, second by Councilperson Shaver to approve the change of employment status for police officer Neal Cooley. Cooley currently works part-time for the department. Police Chief Rick Tasler would like to change his status to full time employment. Having another full-time officer would allow for police coverage during overnight hours, provide support for Madrid Schools and provide coverage for vacation time for other department personnel.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

Tasler stated the department was recently granted a COPS grant in the amount of $125,000 to fund an additional full-time police officer. The grant funds will be paid to the City over a period of three years and cover wages and benefits for that officer. The grant was written by Simmering-Cory for a fee of $700.Tasler updated the Council about recent cases handled by the department.

Fire Chief Randy Pecenka reported long time Fire Department member Curt Maddux has retired. He read from a letter addressed to the Council from Maddux. Pecenka asked the Council to consider using funds from the Fire Building Fund to purchase new fire equipment and update the current facility. He is currently working to draft a letter to those who donated to the building fund asking their permission to re-direct those funds. The department is in need of a new fire truck. Mayor Brown asked Pecenka to develop a written proposal that can  be shared with the Council and the public. Reese suggested he also speak with the city attorney regarding legal ramifications of the proposal.

The Mayor recommended the appointment of Stacey Bannor to the Board of Adjustments Commission. Motion by Councilperson Burich, second by Councilperson Shaver to approve the appointment.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

Mayor Brown asked that the application period for Board of Adjustments, Park Board, Senior Activities Committee and Labor Day Committee be re-opened and remain open until June 30.

Lori Moran and Cathy Titus joined the meeting to ask permission to close a portion of West 2nd Street between Walnut and Dalander for 2 to 3 hours on either June 14th or June 28th for a neighborhood ice cream social. Scott Church stated the public works department would drop of barricades for the closure. Motion by Councilperson Ostrander, second by Councilperson Rigby to allow the street closure.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Rigby, second by Councilperson Ostrander to approve Resolution #45-19-20. The resolution allows for the assessing of a mosquito spraying fee on water billings for the months of July, August and September.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

Reese asked the Council to decide if they would like to develop a “Request for Proposal” for garbage service. Walter’s Sanitary currently holds the contract for garbage collection which expires September 1, 2020. Motion by Councilperson Ostrander, second by Councilperson Shaver to approve the development of an RFP for garbage disposal. Ostrander and Shaver were also appointed to a committee which would develop that RFP.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, second by Councilperson Burich to approve Resolution # 46-19-20, “Resolution Authorizing the Call of Outstanding Bonds, Approving and Authorizing a Loan Agreement and Providing for the Issuance and Securing the Payment of Sewer Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2020.” The resolution allows for the refinancing of the 2013B Sewer Revenue Bond. The term of the bond will stay the same, however a lower rate will realize a savings of around $28,000.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, second by Councilperson Shaver to approve resolution # 47-19-20, “Resolution Amending the Rate for Water Utility.” The rate for water will increase by 10% starting with the July 30, 2020 billing. The increase is necessary due to the rise in costs, and maintenance of the water plant facility. The water fund is currently in a deficit.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

Motion by Councilperson Rigby, second by Councilperson Burich to approve Resolution # 48-19-20, “Resolution Amending the Rate for Sewer Utility.” The sewer portion of billing will also increase 10%.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

Mayor Brown shared statistics concerning Covid-19 testing and Boone County’s testing results. He initiated a discussion about removing restrictions for the playgrounds and shelters.  These decisions do not affect school playgrounds which are controlled by the Madrid School system. Motion by Councilperson Shaver, second by Councilperson Ostrander to re-open playgrounds, shelters, community room and Senior Activities building while following guidelines and restrictions as mandated by the Governor of Iowa. Mayor Brown asked for input from the public regarding this matter. Mike Dooley asked if the City of Madrid could do sentinel testing. He feels it would be helpful to have those test results before making a decision about re-opening. Mayor Brown defined sentinel testing as random testing of a certain percentage of people to determine a result. He stated he does not know of anywhere that is doing sentinel testing. Becky Roorda thinks outdoor spaces and indoor spaces should be treated differently. She feels it makes sense to restrict the number of people allowed in the community room. Mayor Brown stated that even it the Council votes to re-open those facilities, he could close them again if there was a resurgence of Covid-19 cases. Don Lincoln questions how cleanliness would be maintained at city owned facilities including playgrounds, shelters and restrooms. Currently restrooms at all city facilities are closed. Stacy Luckinbill expressed concern with not opening playgrounds, as she feels those people who wish to utilize those facilities will use the playgrounds in nearby towns, bringing possible infections back to Madrid. She also questioned how sanitary situations would be handled at restrooms. Church stated Cintas cleans all park facilities once a week. Chief Pecenka stated there have not been any recent Covid-19 cases that were handled during rescue calls. Councilperson Rigby asked Church if he has the staff to clean all restroom and playgrounds every day. He does not feel that burden should be placed on City staff. Councilperson Shaver stated there should be a difference between how outside and inside facilities are handled. Motion by councilperson Ostrander, second by Councilperson Burich to reopen the Community Room following CDC guidelines. Councilperson Rigby asked what the process would be to clean and sanitize the community room. Reese stated it is not the responsibility of the custodial worker to sanitize the facility.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

Burich stated the Community room needs to be monitored for cleaning and return of deposit. Angie Strong stated they have no problems with cleaning when they rent out the meeting room at the library. Councilperson Shaver requested to table the reopening of playgrounds, shelters, community room and senior center until fees for cleaning could be reviewed and sanitizing procedures can be discussed. Motion by Councilperson Ostrander, second by Councilperson Burich to re-open the Community room for public use following the governors’ proclamation guidelines. Councilperson Shaver requested to table the re-opening of the Community Room and Councilperson Ostrander withdrew his motion to re-open the facility.

Mayor Brown advised the closing of sale for the Anheuser Busch building. The abstract has not been found.

Mayor Brown recommended the appointment of Travis Risvold to the Senior Citizens Commission. Motion by Councilperson Ostrander, seconded by Councilperson Rigby to approve the appointment.

Ayes: Burich, Ostrander, Rigby, Shaver                                          Motion Carried

Martha Furness, Senior Activities Committee member advised they plan to continue with their previous idea of sending “May baskets” to all seniors in town with information regarding local services. She stated she has currently taken on the sanitizing responsibilities at the Senior Center. She is concerned with people using the center without informing the City Clerk or herself.

Don Lincoln with Friends of the Trail committee advised they are installing a canopy over one of the tables at the trailhead. He thanked the public works department for removing stumps in the area where the new coal mine display will be installed below Jensen Park on the trail.

Mayor Brown thanked Rick Tasler and Mary Jo Reese for work on obtaining the C.O.P.S. grant. He is currently working with Alliant Energy to obtain a map of poles that will be replaced or removed within the city. He stated there has been a request to continue City Council meeting on a Zoom platform. He will check into that possibility as well as a cost estimate.

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, second by Councilperson Rigby at 1:07 p.m.