7th St. W. project $280,000 more than expected

—Will not affect previously reported assessments to property owners
CRESCO - Daren Sikkink of WHKS discussed the proposed 7th St. W. reconstruction project at the April 3 Cresco City Council meeting.
“We have met with property owners, who were not enthused about the project crossing their property. This week, we met with the public works committee to discuss options.’
One of the options was to install the storm sewer along the north side of Highway 9, across the Sleepy Hollow dealership property, across the highway to where Windridge Implement is located. Then take storm sewer to Airport Road and use Airport Road’s right-of-way to bring the storm sewer out past the airport property. 
Sikkink added, “All property along that route have all said they would agree to enter into an easement, so there is a designated route. This route is definitely longer, and there will be an additional cost for the project of $284,000.” 
The cost of the project had been estimated at $3,077,175 and is now at $3,361,175. The increase will not affect any of the property owners who had already received assessments.
The City will proceed with the project and a notice to bidders will be published.
• In other business, Park & Fitness Center Director Brandon Kerian updated Council on the Fitness Center fund-raising campaign and renovation. “We have received $162,000 in pledges and donations for this project. The organizing committee met last week and looked at a timeline moving forward. 
“We want to put in an order for equipment in the next month. This summer is filled with installation dates for doors and security system. By late summer, we are looking at the arrival of the equipment and the project should be completed by this fall.”
He added, “The main reason I’m here is to ask the Council to entertain the idea of releasing the $30,000 for this project that was originally discussed. The reason is to replace additional fitness equipment.”
Updated equipment has been the number one request from both members and non-members. The 24/7 part is another big request from fitness center users.
Board member Scott Thomson said the $30,000 would show that “Cresco Cares.”
• To keep up with inflation and pay for upcoming projects, Council voted to raise water rates 4% and sewer rates 6%. This will take place after three readings of the new ordinance.
• Public Works Director Nate Widell gave his report. “In the past two weeks, there have been two watermain breaks. The first was on 2nd St. West between 4th and 5th Ave. and the second was on 2nd St. East between 1st and 2nd Ave.”
He noted the first yard waste pickup date will be April 17.
CIT Sewer Solutions cleaned the storm sewer on 2nd Ave. W. between 3rd and 4th St. “That main right there is no good. We came to the conclusion to probably replace that pipe, so the street department will be replacing that this summer. It’s clay and it’s collapsing. It is roughly 450 feet near Immanuel Lutheran.”
He stated tree removal on the trail has begun. Within a few months, that project should be completed.
• Police Chief Tim Ruroden reported the officers had attended some training in March. 
“One was at the Iowa Narcotics Association Training. That was very good training. They have actually brought some of that back and used it this last week.
“Another had some Crisis Intervention De-escalation Training, and he has used it already this week.”
In March, warrants were up, and total arrests and charges and OWIs. “The month of March was pretty busy.”
Council member Gary Kriener asked about the detour on Highway 9, where the bridge is down. “That will probably bring in more traffic from the Granger Road. I noticed the  [solar speed limit sign] wasn’t working.” 
Ruroden replied the sign is about five years old and the batteries are getting old and need replaced. The same is true for the sign coming from Protivin.
He added the signs record information such as speeds, the highest time frames and the most speeds.
Kriener also mentioned speed signs could be put in near the school. Ruroden stated, “We’ve been talking about maybe just putting flashing lights there during school. We also talked about changing the speed limit from 15 mph to 25 when school is [not in session].”
• City Clerk Michelle Elton updated council on tax abatements through the Urban Revitalization Plan for commercial and residential properties. Eight abatements expired this year. “There are currently 42 active, with $4,054,000 worth of evaluations we are abating,” she said.
It is possible to make some changes to the abatement percentage.
Council will meet with Howard County Supervisors to see if the City and County can brainstorm on saving money and resources because of the legislative changes coming and property tax revenue. They will meet at the Courthouse at 4 p.m.
• There were no written or oral objections to the Max Tax Levy for Fiscal year July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024.
• The City agreed to enter into a service agreement on the 500,000 gallon water tower project.
• Council approved all three applications for the Hotel/Motel tax grants. They included WA TAN YE Club for promoting and marketing Cresco to visitors for $800; Family Fun Night for $2,000; and Howard County Fair for $4,000.
• The City is down to the last two of six houses being rehabilitated. A change order was approved for Restyling Specialists.
• Sewer adjustments were approved for Donald Rosonke and Mary Lindell for water not entering the sanitary sewer system. 
• A public hearing was set for the Proposed Budget for FY ending June 30, 2024.
The next City Council meeting will be held on Monday, April 17 at 5:30 p.m.

Cresco Times

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

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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