Cresco City Council given project updates

CRESCO - City Council meetings in August are consolidated into this article
From Aug. 5 meeting
Rod Freidhof, Public Works Director, told council members on Aug. 5 the City was still chip sealing some streets. He said the final 68 ash trees were on the list to be taken down.
• City Clerk Michelle Girolamo said other cities are giving discounts for ACH (automated clearing house) payment automation. “We spend a lot of time putting checks in the bank.” She went on to say the average water bill is $60.
Council member Amy Bouska suggested giving a discount for those that don’t have to be mailed. It was estimated it could cost up to $28,000 per year, so they did not decide anything yet.
• Library Director Cynthia Kay mentioned there is a community survey available to fill out. It can be found on the Library’s website.
• Mayor Mark Bohle mentioned a program in Oelwein where the town had rent inspections. “There are 860 rental homes out of 2,600. It’s something to look into.” Rental properties must be registered, pay a fee and be inspected. Two individuals were hired, and the program is self-sustaining.
• Katherine Hannigan from Green Iowa Americorps gave a slide presentation on the program. 
She said workers do home energy audits. They do safety testing and direct installs (such as replacing bulbs and changing low efficiency shower heads to high efficiency). At the end, individuals receive an audit report. 
The process is free to those 65 and older, veterans, the disabled and those with low to moderate income.
• Freidhof addressed the sump pumps that drain into the street year-round. A solution may be to connect the six biggest problem areas to the nearest storm sewer. The cost would be about $35,000. This will also allow other property owners to connect to the tile that will go to the storm sewer.
It was asked who would pay for the work. Bouska noted, “I don’t see how you can charge the homeowner after we told them they could discharge into the street.”
It was also mentioned someone broke their leg after they slipped and fell at one of the problem areas.
Councilman Alex Fortune stated, “If it’s a known safety hazard, we’ve got to fix it.”
Council voted to proceed with connecting the 5-6 areas to the storm sewer.
• For the upcoming election, those seats that need to be filled are mayor (currently Bohle), Ward 1 (Fortune), Ward 3 (Jan Carman) and At Large (Dave Brenno).
• Girolamo said the City of Cresco is sitting pretty wellfor its debt limit. The outstanding Obligation Report showed $3,493,000 on June 30, 2019. All debt will be paid off in 2034 if no new debt is incurred.
From Aug. 19 meeting
• The Boy Scouts attended the meeting for part of their requirements.
• Police chief Tim Ruroden noted there was an increase in animal calls. In addition, he is asking Council to update police policies and procedures through Lexipol. He admitted it was costly, but the benefits were worth it.
• Girolamo updated council on the remodel and expansion of the fitness center. Initially, the pool was going to be resurfaced in the coming weeks, but may now be delayed until after the rest of the project is completed.
• Freidhof reported on the Vernon Road Project. It was decided to add an 18-inch storm sewer to the east side of the City portion of the project and a six-inch tile line on the west, both to help with ponding. The Public Works Director admitted it won’t solve the problem, but it will help. The extra cost is $180,000, taking the total project to $400,000. Work will be done in the fall or spring.
The public hearing for the proposed plans will be held on Sept. 16.
• A Class C Liquor License with Outdoor Service and Sunday Sales was approved for The Pub.
• Bouska requested to wait on approving a street closing for the annual Power of Pink 5K Run/Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness on Oct. 13. She wanted to know if extra precautions were being taken since it will take place when it is darker (7-9 p.m.). 
• The next Council meeting was changed to Wednesday, Sept. 4 because of Labor Day falling on the first Monday.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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