City Council Minutes-September 18, 2017

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Madrid City Council
Regular Meeting
September 18, 2017
5:30 p.m.

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

Present at Roll Call: Steve Burich, Kurt Kruse, Dave Cook and Lane Shaver and Val Chapman.

Other City Officials Present: City Clerk Mary Jo Reese, City Attorney John Jordan, Library Director Angie Strong, Library Board Member Pam Allen, Public Works Employee Mike Fischer, Police Chief Rick Tasler and Park Board Member Dualla Carlson.

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Chapman to approve the agenda for September 18, 2017

Ayes: All Present                                                                 Motion Carried


Motion by Councilperson Cook, seconded by Councilperson Kruse to approve the City Council Meeting Minutes of September 5, 2017 and Library Meeting Minutes of August 8, 2017 by consent agenda.

Ayes: All Present                                                                 Motion Carried


Motion by Councilperson Kruse, seconded by Councilperson Cook to approve the claims for September 18, 2017 in the amount of $139,127.38.

Ayes: All Present                                                                 Motion Carried


Paul Peters of 700 West 5th Street, Madrid asked the Council if the City plans to move forward with placing a safety fence along the canal behind his property at 318 South Kennedy Avenue.  The Council advised the fence should be in place this fall. Further plans for the canal include placing concrete in that section of the canal, and placing a retention wall in the area. The City also plans to replace a section of concrete on the cement pad behind his property that was damaged when a tractor drove over the pad during cleaning of the canal.

Jeremy Walters of 516 W. 5th Street, Madrid approached the Council to express his concern with traffic that fails to stop at the school crossings on Highway 210 near the elementary school. He has observed cars that fail to stop at the stop signs and has taken video of cars running the stop signs. He stated he has made Officer Millsap aware of the issue. Chief Tasler stated he will work with Walters to resolve any traffic issues he may observe in the future.

Kurt Kruse advised he had written grants to several organizations to fund lighting for the “Welcome to Madrid” signs on the south and north ends of town on Highway 17. He received grant money from Madrid Community Endowment, and The Leonard Goode Trust, but needs an additional $1,100.00 to finish the lighting project. He asked the Council to consider donating the remaining needed amount. Mayor Ringgenberg stated the request will be considered during budget planning for the FY 18-19 budget.


Library Director Angie Strong presented the Council with schedules of upcoming events at the Library. She reported the fall book sale raised $967.75. She advised the library is ready to present their requests for the FY 18-19 budget. Strong stated attendance during the summer reading programs was down from 2016. She is currently re-evaluating the program for 2018. Upcoming programs at the library include Book Discussion, Robotics, Adult Coloring and Early Out Crafternoon.


Park Board Member Dualla Carlson reported the Lions Club recently donated $1,000, and St. Paul’s Church donated $1,063.82 to the Save the Cabin Fund. The balance of that fund is now at $11,377.82.

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Kruse to terminate the current contract with TruGreen, and approve a contract with Grimm’s Greenscapes.

Ayes: All Present                                                                 Motion Carried


Police Chief Rick Tasler he received many compliments on the Labor Day Celebration, including the Car Show. He also advised the Council of recent work done on the Chevrolet Tahoe police vehicle. He stated he will be providing police presence at the remaining High School home games.

Mayor Ringgenberg advised he will be working with Denny Bernholtz of Safe Building Compliance to update the current Planning and Zoning ordinances.

Public Works Employee Mike Fischer stated the baffles inside the water tower need be replaced. The work will be in addition to the previous estimate to paint and restore the water tower. The original baffles were removed many years ago and the state inspector is requesting that they be replaced.

Motion by Councilperson Kruse, seconded by Councilperson Chapman to approve the final design plan for the exterior of the water tower.

Ayes: All Present                                                                 Motion Carried


Fischer advised of two recent main breaks along West 1st Street. Public Works will be replacing water lines in the area. He also advised the auction to dispose of unneeded city property will take place on October 15, 2017 at 1:00 at the City Shed.

The Councilmembers read an initial draft of a proposed fireworks ordinance. Mayor Ringgenberg asked each Councilmember to read the draft and send their thoughts and suggestions for change to City Clerk, Mary Jo Reese so she can make the desired changes to the draft ordinance.


The Council considered a request from Tami Leonard for tax abatement for a garage built on her property at 110 Madelyn Lane. Motion by Councilperson Burich, seconded by Councilperson Cook to approve the abatement.

Ayes: All Present                                                                 Motion Carried

The Council tabled the issue of Resolution #11-17-18 “City Street Financial Report”. A special meeting will be held to approve the resolution.

Mayor Ringgenberg asked to change the budget workshop from September 28th to October 5th at 5:00.

Councilperson Chapman asked for the Council’s feedback on a proposed rental ordinance she wrote. The project will be discussed at the next City Council meeting on October 2, 2017. The Council will also allow the public to provide input on the proposal.

John Jordan advised the trial for the property at 234 West 2nd Street is scheduled for next month. The City has deemed the property hazardous, and has filed a lawsuit against the property owner. He also stated depositions are being taken in conjunction with a federal lawsuit that has been filed against the city.

Councilperson Kruse advised there will be a meeting on September 26th at 9:00 a.m. with Region XII to review the progress on codification of ordinances. Kruse also mentioned he was contacted by persons who have drone footage of the Labor Day Celebration. One will make the footage available for the Madrid website. Another person has also agreed to share their footage of the High Trestle Bridge in exchange for credit of the film.

Councilperson Chapman mentioned the amount of time it takes for meeting minutes to become available on the Madrid website. She also had a complaint about last year’s water rate increase. The citizen felt they were not adequately informed of the increase. Chapman would like the weeds on the property at Water and 21st street to be addressed. Chief Tasler advised he would handle the property.

Councilperson Cook mentioned positive comments about West 2nd Street, and the Labor Day Celebration.

Councilperson Shaver stated he has also received positive comments about the changes in the community.

Mayor Ringgenberg read correspondence from Velma Reese of the Sundial Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution. The proclamation declares September 17th through the 23rd as Constitution Week.

Mayor Ringgenberg mentioned a recent article in the Des Moines Register that addresses commercial property tax shortfalls in communities. He reminded the council and public that the City of Madrid is 40 to 50% below their bond limit. Revenue bonds are for Water and Sewer expenses, and need to pay for themselves from water and sewer rates. The City is currently looking at raising those rates to cover the expenses of the water and sewer utilities. General Obligation bonds are for other projects the Council deems necessary. Property taxes have not been raised by the city for the last seven years, and no increases are projected in the next five years. Water and Sewer rates will need to be raised to cover those expenses.

Mayor Ringgenberg advised the Council the County Conservation Board has decided to turn off the lighting on the High Trestle Trail Bridge at 10:30 at night. Starting November 1, the lights will go out at 9:00 at night. He mentioned problems with developing a park near the High Trestle Trail access on QM lane.

Motion by Councilperson Shaver, seconded by Councilperson Kruse to adjourn the City Council Meeting at 6:34 p.m.



Dirk D. Ringgenberg



Mary J. Reese

City Clerk