City of Mechanicsville


August 25, 2003



The City Council met in special session on Monday, August 25, 2003 at the Memorial Building. Mayor Pro tem Dan Kurth called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. Council  persons present for roll call were Don Griffith, Dan Kurth, Andrew Oberbreckling,  Peter Anderson, and Martin Meyer. Others present included representatives from KCRG; Sue Hall, Tipton Conservative; Mark Schneider, ECIA; and members of the community that signed in included the following:  David Furry, Mel Lindsey, Diane Griffith, Amanda Weber, Travis Galloway, Jodi Shields, Deanna Taylor, Stacy Paidar, Dan Paidar, Alan Bennett, Viola and Pat Johnson, Julie Johnson, Ricky Morarie, Doug Weber, Rhett Taylor, Chris Chamberlin, Candra Hoch, Ginny Chaberlin, Sharon Pickering, Doyle Pickering, Vern Svoboda, Maurice Ford, Paul McCoy, Bob Jilovec, Candi Gesling, Merle Weber, Mary Oberbreckling, Mary Ann Jilovec, Nancy Albaugh, Peggy Beck, Luella Scott, Ernie Albaugh, Thad Alexander, Donna Paup, Joe Smith, Shelly Boyd, Parker Boyd, Andrew Carr, Kristie Crandall, Kim Smith, Pam Logue, Mike Newcomb, Matt P, Jayme Griffith, Stephanie Kamberling, Brooke Scott, Linda B, Dean, Karen Billman, Greg Yonkovic, Donna Wood, Tim Miller, Rick Scott, Bryan Lovell, Carla Barnhart, Marlene Scott, Sherry Hanks, Patsy Miller, Linda Beck, Larry Beck, Brenda Hanks, Bob Hanks, Laurie Jewell, Brad Crandall, Angie Himes, Donna Feddersen, Bruce Hanks, Nate Unruh, Marie Cook, Sandra Warren, Stacy Rubner, Bryan Rubner, Makenzie Rubner, Janet Bescher, Chad Rubner, Shelly Miller, Scott Miller, Chuck Hoy, Sherie Paup, David Aberle, Chris Yancey, Thomas Strickler, James Studer, Kip Wilson, Mick Laughlin, David Sloan, Dan Hannes, Jan Kuda, Ann Chadwell, Bob Cummings, and Laura Caes.


OPPORTUNITY for citizens present to discuss items not on the agenda: At this time Amanda Weber presented a petition to the council with 285 signatures in support of the community getting a full time police officer.  Viola Johnson requested to get a copy of chapter 50 and 51 of the city code.  Dan Kurth read a letter of resignation dated August 23, 2003 from Mayor Steven B. Joy.


CONSENT AGENDA: Motioned by Kurth, seconded by Griffith, to approve the consent agenda including the agenda, and the minutes from 8/13/03.  Roll call vote:  Ayes:  Griffith, Kurth, Anderson, Meyer and Oberbreckling. Nays:  None.  Motion carried.


DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS: Officer Sloan presented the council with the July and August police reports.  July had a total of 31 calls, used 82.1 gallons fuel and a total of 812.0 miles with a total of 8 traffic warnings issued and 10 traffic citations issued; August 1-25 had a total of 12 calls for the month, 28.5 gallons and 207 miles driven with a total of 1 traffic citation issued. Griffith inquired about whether there was any use of the old police car.  Officer Sloan reported that it was not used either month.  Anderson motioned, Meyer seconded to approve the report.  Ayes all.  Motion carried.




DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON BIDS RECEIVED FOR STRIPPING THE FLOORS AT THE MEMORIAL BUILDING, APPLYING 2 COATS OF SEALER, and 2 COATS OF WAX:  Anderson commented that the bids received were from professionals in the business of doing this type of work and since they had all been in to look at the floor made a motion to accept the lowest bid at 2,161 to do the complete strip, resealing, and waxing.  Meyer expressed a concern with the procedures that would be used in stripping the floor and requested additional information from the vendor regarding the type of tile and possibly just call them on the phone and asked them if they would still recommend this procedure if it were asbestos tile.  Anderson rescinded the original motion and requested that the company submit a statement regarding their procedure in handling of asbestos tile to addressing any liability issues if this would be the case.  Seconded by Oberbreckling.  Ayes all.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON HIRING POLICE CHIEF:  Anderson stated that after reviewing the minutes of previous meetings; the offer that was extended;  the letter declining the original offer at $14.43; taking into consideration the petition that has 285 signatures on it and only 136 people voted in the last election; he being  on the police committee and had heard about a proposal for part time coverage prior to it coming to the full table; the negotiation in committee has not been successful and as a result requested that the topic be put on the agenda for discussion.  He proposed a starting wage of $16.80 for discussion purposes only.  Kurth responded that he had spoken with city attorney Dendinger and that he advised that the matter be tabled for the simple reason that the original offer was denied and re-post the position and the people involved can reapply.  It is up to the council to decide whether or not it is in the negotiable stage.  Griffith asked if a faxed copy of the attorney’s statement was available and further stated that the Mayor has already appointed him, however, the council needs to set the wage.  Anderson stated that he also spoke with the city attorney and it appears that the city is either 1) in negotiation or 2) back to square one and can start all over again.  Anderson further commented that he is uncomfortable with starting all over again.  Comments from the public were received on support for getting a full time person hired tonight.  Griffith motioned to proceed into negotiation and setting a wage for Rick Scott.  Oberbreckling seconded.  Ayes all.  Nays:  None.  Motion carried.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON PROPOSED RESOLUTION SETTING WAGES FOR POLICE CHIEF:  Council negotiated salary and discussed salary for the position; it was motioned by Griffith, seconded by Meyer to set the wage at $17.00 per hour for Police Chief Rick Scott with no salary review at the end of the 90 day probation period. Ayes all.  Motion carried.  Coppess was requested to read  resolution 2003-19; setting the wage for Police Chief Rick Scott at $17.00 per hour which was motioned by Griffith, seconded by Meyer to adopt: Roll call vote:  Ayes:  Anderson, Oberbreckling, Griffith, Meyer, and Kurth.  Nays:  None:  Resolution adopted.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON COVERING THE COST OF INSURANCE DURING THE 90 DAY PERIOD UNTIL THE CITY’S GROUP POLICY COVERAGE BEGINS:  Since Scott was a previous employee and had prior coverage with the city, Anderson motioned, Griffith seconded, to pay up to the $650 for health insurance plus the $40 dental insurance for a total cost not to exceed $690 per month for the COBRA coverage during the 90 day waiting period. Scott indicated it would be approx. $664 for the actual costs.  Ayes all.  Nays none.  Motion carried.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON INPUT RECEIVED FROM THE PUBLIC HEARING ON PARKING:  Griffith motioned, Oberbreckling seconded, for the council to not proceed with making any changes to the parking ordinance.  Ayes all.  Nays none.  Motion carried.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON INPUT RECEIVED FOR ADDITIONAL SIGNAGE FOR PREFERRED TRUCK ROUTE:  Griffith motioned to proceed with getting additional signage to mark the preferred truck route, with no changes in the parking areas along this preferred route.  Meyer seconded the motion.  Ayes all.  Motion carried.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON REQUEST FOR BACK HOE WORK TO BE DONE AT THE LAGOON TO REMOVE LARGE PLANTS/WEEDS AT A COST NOT TO EXCEED $500:    Griffith motioned, Anderson seconded to approve the request.  Ayes all.  Motion carried.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON ECIA COST ESTIMATE PROPOSALS FOR THE WASTERWATER TREATMENT FACILITY AND REQUEST TO SUBMIT AMENDMENT 2 TO IDED:  Mark Schneider, ECIA, was present to review the proposed budget for rebuilding the wastewater treatment facility and as a result of the stream study that was done the facility plan was reduced to a total cost estimate of $439,615 and recommended that we request $250,000 to be funded from the grant by submitting the proposed amendment.  Griffith motioned, seconded by Anderson, to submit the recommended amendment to IDED.  Ayes all.  Motion carried. 


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON BID TO INSTALL EMERGENCY LIGHTING IN LIONS PAVILION AT A COST OF $410:  Motion by Griffith, seconded by Meyer to accept the bid for the emergency lighting with request that it be completed in 30 days.  Ayes all.  Motion carried.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON 5 YEAR POST COMPLETION INSPECTION FOR FEDERAL LAND AND WATER CONVSERVATION FUND PARK GRANT:  Motioned by Griffith, seconded by Anderson, to authorize the clerk to complete.  Ayes all.  Motion carried.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON RAMPS FOR BICYCLES, SKATEBOARDERS AND ROLLERBLADES: Officer Sloan requested to rescind his offer for assistance in this matter due to the council’s choice of the police chief.

No further action or discussion.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON ERNEST ALBAUGH REQUEST FOR 10’ CURB CUT AT 701 E FIRST STREET:  Griffith motioned, seconded by Meyer to approve request for curb cut.  Ayes all.  Motion approved.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON BRUCE KERN’S REQUEST TO HAVE PLUGGED CULVERT REMOVED FROM END OF DRIVEWAY ALONG ELM STREET:  Council reviewed ordinance regarding this and suggested that the sewer jetter be used to see if it could be unplugged and requested that he have Zerbe look at it to see whether it would need to be replaced if they are not successful in cleaning it out.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON REQUEST FROM SCHOOL TO CHANGE  THE TIMES AS STATED IN ORDINANCE 183 FOR THE TEMPORARY CLOSING OF MONROE STREET DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR FROM 8:30 – 3:30 TO 7:30 TO 4:30:  Motion was made by Anderson, seconded by Oberbreckling to approve the First reading of the Ordinance 184.  Ayes all.   Nays none.  Motion carried.


Meyer motioned, seconded by Anderson, to dispense with the second and third readings of the ordinance.  Ayes all.  Motion carried.


Anderson motioned, seconded by Meyer, to adopt the ordinance and to post.  Roll call vote:  Kurth, Meyer, Oberbreckling, Griffith, and Anderson.  Nays:  None.  Ordinance adopted. A copy of the ordinance will be posted and available at City Hall.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON RESOLUTION TO DIRECT ALLIANT ENERGY TO INSTALL AN ADDITIONAL STREET LIGHT ON MADISON STREET BETWEEN KOHLHASE AND SECOND STREET:  Motioned by Meyer, seconded by Griffith to adopt the resolution 2003-20.  Roll call vote: Ayes:  Griffith, Meyer, Oberbreckling, Kurth, and Anderson.  Nays:  None.  Resolution adopted.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON RESOLUTION AFFIRMING CITY POLICY ON PASSENGERS RIDING IN THE POLICE CAR OR OTHER EMERGENCY VEHICLES WHILE ON DUTY:  Coppess was requested to read resolution 2003-21; Griffith motioned, Oberbreckling seconded to adopt the resolution.  Roll call vote:  Meyer, Anderson, Griffith, Oberbreckling.  Nays:  Kurth.  Resolution adopted.


REQUEST FROM CITIZEN TO PAY RICK SCOTT FOR THE HOURS HE HAS MISSED IN ORDER TO ATTEND MEETINGS AND THEN ONLY TO FIND OUT THAT THE MEETING WAS CANCELLED:  No action was taken on this due to the previous action during the meeting  with him being hired as the full time police chief.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON NUISANCE ABATEMENT:  Clerk read a letter from the Johnson’s stating that Lot 4 had been mowed; however, due to the heat they have not been able to complete the other request regarding the removal of the tractor/skid loader and skid and mowing of weeds around them.  Meyer motioned, seconded by Oberbreckling to allow an additional 30 days to complete the mowing of the weeds and the removal of the junk/junk vehicles.  Ayes: Kurth, Meyer, and Oberbreckling.  Nays:  Anderson and Griffith.  Motion carried.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON REQUEST TO PURCHASE MERRY GO ROUND FOR PARK $2344 PLUS SHIPPING AND HANDLING:  Motion by Griffith, seconded by Anderson, to proceed with purchasing the Merry-go-round.  Ayes all.  Motion carried.  Some discussion was also held about getting a sign for the park and also whether or not any grants were available for this type of purchase.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON GETTING BIDS FOR REPLACING CURBS IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA:  Betterment Committee proposed checking into the cost of having 4 curbs replaced, specifically the ones located at Kuehnle’s and Sandberg’s at First and Cherry, the one north of the bank, and the one known as Thimmes’ corner.  Further discussion on whether the city is responsible for the cost of replacement or whether the property owner is responsible for the cost.  One suggestion was to find out the cost and possibly offer a cost share incentive of some type to the property owner.  It was noted that the snow plow may have done damage to at least one of these curbs.  Anderson motioned to get bids for the cost of replacement and Griffith seconded the motion.  Ayes all.  Motion carried.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON SEALING JOINTS AROUND CITY HALL BUILDING:  The cement on the west side of city hall is deteriorating and it was suggested that getting a cost on sealing the cracks may prolong the life of it for a few more years.  The possibility of removing the slabs and putting posts in was also considered.  Further action and discussion was tabled for the next agenda to review with Zerbe.


CORRESPONDENCE:  A question about how the vacancy of the mayor’s position will be filled with a response that it will be on the next agenda; a statement was made regarding the trees in the East End Park need watering; an announcement from Tom Harkins Office was read regarding the Fire Department has been awarded a $52,000 grant for safety equipment and Nate will share more about that at the next meeting.


COMMITTEE REPORTS:  Safety committee reported reviewing some incident reports and the lighting recommendations were addressed earlier in the meeting; The Betterment Committee reported completing some fund raisers and they discussed possibilities on how to move forward with getting sidewalks ADA compliant, especially coming into the downtown area.


MAYORS COMMENTS:  Kurth made comments stating that this is pathetic, you people need to take a serious look to see what has happened to this community over the recent months.


ADJOURN:  There being no further business to come before the Council at this time, Council member Meyer motioned, Anderson seconded, to adjourn the meeting at 9:17 p.m.  Ayes all.  Meeting adjourned.






_______________________________   ________________________________

Linda K. Coppess, City Clerk                   Dan Kurth, Mayor Pro Tem